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Profile: Donald L. M. Baxter (University of Connecticut)
  1.  13
    Aaron J. Cotnoir & Donald L. M. Baxter (eds.) (2014). Composition as Identity. OUP Oxford.
    Composition is the relation between a whole and its parts--the parts compose the whole; the whole is composed of the parts. But is a whole anything distinct from its collective parts? Could it be that a whole just is its parts? Twelve original articles argue for and against the controversial doctrine that composition is identity.
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  2.  28
    Donald L. M. Baxter (2008). Hume's Difficulty: Time and Identity in the Treatise. Routledge.
    Donald L. M. Baxter’s meticulous attention to textual detail yields a highly original interpretation of some of the most neglected or maligned parts of Hume’s Treatise. The book will be useful to those interested in the metaphysics of identity and time, and the epistemology of metaphysics, and will be indispensable to Hume scholars, who have lacked an in-depth treatment of these crucial and intricate issues.
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  3. Donald L. M. Baxter (2001). Instantiation as Partial Identity. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 79 (4):449 – 464.
    Construing the instantiation of a universal by a particular in terms of my theory of aspects resolves the basic mystery of this "non-relational tie", and gives theoretical unity to the four characteristics of instantiation discerned by Armstrong. Taking aspects as distinct in a way akin to Scotus's formal distinction, I suggest that instantiation is the sharing of an aspect by a universal and a particular--a kind of partial identity. This approach allows me to address Plato's multiple location and One over (...)
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  4. Donald L. M. Baxter (1988). Identity in the Loose and Popular Sense. Mind 97 (388):575-582.
    This essay interprets Butler’s distinction between identity in the loose and popular sense and in the strict and philosophical sense. Suppose there are different standards for counting the same things. Then what are two distinct things counting strictly may be one and the same thing counting loosely. Within a given standard identity is one-one. But across standards it is many-one. An alternative interpretation using the parts-whole relation fails, because that relation should be understood as many-one identity. Another alternative making identity (...)
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  5. Donald L. M. Baxter (1988). Many-One Identity. Philosophical Papers 17 (3):193-216.
    Two things become one thing, something having parts, and something becoming something else, are cases of many things being identical with one thing. This apparent contradiction introduces others concerning transitivity of identity, discernibility of identicals, existence, and vague existence. I resolve the contradictions with a theory that identity, number, and existence are relative to standards for counting. What are many on some standard are one and the same on another. The theory gives an account of the discernibility of identicals using (...)
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  6.  65
    Donald L. M. Baxter (1999). The Discernibility of Identicals. Journal of Philosophical Research 24:37-55.
    I argue via examples that there are cases in which things that are not two distinct things qualitatively differ without contradiction. In other words, there are cases in which something differs from itself. Standard responses to such cases are to divide the thing into distinct parts, or to conceive of the thing under different descriptions, or to appeal to different times, or to deny that the property had is the property lacked. I show these responses to be unsatisfactory. I then (...)
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  7.  38
    Donald L. M. Baxter (2013). Instantiation as Partial Identity: Replies to Critics. [REVIEW] Axiomathes 23 (2):291-299.
    One of the advantages of my account in the essay “Instantiation as Partial Identity” was capturing the contingency of instantiation—something David Armstrong gave up in his experiment with a similar view. What made the contingency possible for me was my own non-standard account of identity, complete with the apparatus of counts and aspects. The need remains to lift some obscurity from the account in order to display its virtues to greater advantage. To that end, I propose to respond to (...)
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  8.  93
    Donald L. M. Baxter (1989). Identity Through Time and the Discernibility of Identicals. Analysis 49 (3):125 - 131.
    Ordinary usage gives a way to think of identity through time: the Pittsburgh of 1946 was the same city as the Pittsburgh of today is--namely Pittsburgh. Problem: The Pittsburgh of 1946 does not exist; Pittsburgh still does. How can they have been identical? I reject the temporal parts view on which they were not but we may speak as though they were. Rather I argue that claiming their identity is not contradictory. I interpret ‘the Pittsburgh of 1946’ as ‘Pittsburgh as (...)
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  9.  18
    James Allan, Robert F. Anderson, Shane Andre, Pall S. Ardal, R. F. Atkinson, Luigi Bagolini, Annette Baier, Stephen Barker, Marcia Baron & Donald L. M. Baxter (1993). An Index of Hume Studies: 1975-1993. Hume Studies 19 (2):327-364.
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  10. Donald L. M. Baxter (2009). Hume's Theory of Space and Time in its Sceptical Context. In David Fate Norton & Jacqueline Anne Taylor (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Hume. Cambridge University Press
    Hume's Treatise arguments concerning space, time, and geometry, especially ones involving his denial of infinite divisibility; have suffered harsh criticism. I show that in the section "Of the ideas of space and time," Hume gives important characterizations of his skeptical approach, in some respects Pyrrhonian, that will be developed in the rest of the Treatise. When that approach is better understood, the force of Hume's arguments can be appreciated, and the influential criticisms of them can be seen to miss the (...)
     
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  11.  35
    Donald L. M. Baxter (2009). Replies to Perry, Falkenstein, and Garrett. [REVIEW] Philosophical Studies 146 (3):445 - 455.
    Pace Perry, wondering whether perceived things are identical is thinking about them, for Hume, with no thought of perceptions of them. Hume is not a proto-Fregean; Hume's Difficulty is not a version of Frege's Puzzle. Pace Falkenstein, wondering about an identity is not wondering whether clearly distinct things--stages, surfaces, names--are connected in some way. Pace Garrett, wondering about the identity of an observed object is wondering whether it is really one or two things, not whether there is one F or (...)
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  12.  16
    Donald L. M. Baxter (2001). Hume on Steadfast Objects and Time. Hume Studies 27 (1):129-148.
    Hume argues that there are steadfast objects - objects not themselves successions at all, yet which co-exist with successions. Given Hume's account of moments as abstractions from temporal simples, there being steadfast objects entails there being single moments that co-exist with successions of moments. Thus time is more like a wall of variously sized bricks than like a line. I formalize the assumptions behind this surprising view, in order to make sense of it and in order to show that it (...)
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  13. Donald L. M. Baxter, Assent in Sextus and Hume.
  14. Donald L. M. Baxter (forthcoming). Hume on Space and Time. In Paul Russell (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of David Hume. Oxford University Press
    Understanding Hume’s theory of space and time requires suspending our own. When theorizing, we think of space as one huge array of locations, which external objects might or might not occupy. Time adds another dimension to this vast array. For Hume, in contrast, space is extension in general, where being extended is having parts arranged one right next to the other like the pearls on a necklace. Time is duration in general, where having duration is having parts occurring one aft (...)
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  15.  59
    Donald L. M. Baxter (1991). Berkeley, Perception, and Identity. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 51 (1):85-98.
    Berkeley says both that one sometimes immediately perceives the same thing by sight and touch, and that one never does. To solve the contradiction I recommend and explain a distinction Berkeley himself makes—between two uses of ‘same’. This solution unifies two seemingly inconsistent parts of Berkeley’s whole project: He argues both that what we see are bits of light and color organized into a language by which God speaks to us about tactile sensations, and yet that we directly see ordinary (...)
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  16.  72
    Donald L. M. Baxter (1989). Free Choice. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 67 (March):12-24.
    There are two inspirations for the theory presented. One is the Kantian idea that a free choice affects a deterministic sequence of events globally rather than just locally. The second is the Leibnizian idea that God chooses for actuality the possible world he deems best. But instead of God choosing, suppose free agents collectively do. Let actuality be an office which deterministic possible worlds are voted in and not of. In this way free choice can change things even if every (...)
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  17.  31
    Donald L. M. Baxter (1987). A Defense of Hume on Identity Through Time. Hume Studies 13 (2):323-342.
    Allegedly hume begs the question when explaining the idea of identity through time. I argue that this accusation rests on the false assumption that all perceptions are momentary and so any lengthy perception is rather a number of perceptions in succession. I conclude that the idea of identity is an uneasy combination of a single lengthy idea and a number of ideas in succession. In this way it is a "medium betwixt unity and number.".
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  18.  12
    Donald L. M. Baxter (1994). Corporeal Substances and True Unities. The Leibniz Review 4 (2):9-10.
    In seiner Korrespondenz mit Arnauld behauptet Leibniz, daß jede körperliche Substanz eine substantielle Form hat. Zur Erhärtung dieser These vertritt er die Ansicht, daß eine körperliche Substanz, um wirklich zu sein, eins und unteilbar sein muß, also eine echte Einheit. Ich werde zeigen, daß diese Behauptung die verführerische Deutung der körperlichen Substanzen als zusammengesetzte Einheiten ausschließt. Vielmehr führt sie zu der Interpretation, daß jede körperliche Substanz eine einzelne Monade ist. Die Argumentation lautet dann kurz: Alles Teilbare besteht aus Teilen, also (...)
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  19.  43
    Donald L. M. Baxter (2011). Hume, Distinctions of Reason, and Differential Resemblance. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 82 (1):156-182.
    Hume discusses the distinction of reason to explain how we distinguish things inseparable, and so identical, e.g., the color and figure of a white globe. He says we note the respect in which the globe is similar to a white cube and dissimilar to a black sphere, and the respect in which it is dissimilar to the first and similar to the second. Unfortunately, Hume takes these differing respects of resemblance to be identical with the white globe itself. Contradiction results, (...)
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  20.  51
    Donald L. M. Baxter (2009). Précis of Hume's Difficulty: Time and Identity in the Treatise. Philosophical Studies 146 (3):407 - 411.
    Donald L. M. Baxter\textquoteright{}s meticulous attention to textual detail yields a highly original interpretation of some of the most neglected or maligned parts of Hume\textquoteright{}s Treatise. The book will be useful to those interested in the metaphysics of identity and time, and the epistemology of metaphysics, and will be indispensable to Hume scholars, who have lacked an in-depth treatment of these crucial and intricate issues.
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  21.  31
    Donald L. M. Baxter (1998). Hume's Labyrinth Concerning the Idea of Personal Identity. Hume Studies 24 (2):203-233.
    In the Treatise Hume argues that the self is really many related perceptions, which we represent to ourselves as being one and the same thing. In the Appendix he finds this account inconsistent. Why? The problem arises from Hume's theory that representation requires resemblance. Only a many can represent a many recognized as such, and only a one can represent something as one. So for the many distinct perceptions (recognized as such) to be represented as one and the same, the (...)
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  22.  30
    Donald L. M. Baxter (2000). A Humean Temporal Logic. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy 2000 (Analytic Philosophy and Logic):209-216.
    Hume argues that the idea of duration is just the idea of the manner in which several things in succession are arrayed. In other words, the idea of duration is the idea of successiveness. He concludes that all and only successions have duration. Hume also argues that there is such a thing as a steadfast object—something which co-exists with many things in succession, but which is not itself a succession. Thus, it seems that Hume has committed himself to a contradiction: (...)
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  23.  23
    Donald L. M. Baxter (1988). Hume on Infinite Divisibility. History of Philosophy Quarterly 5 (2):133-140.
    Hume seems to argue unconvincingly against the infinite divisibility of finite regions of space. I show that his conclusion is entailed by respectable metaphysical principles which he held. One set of principles entails that there are partless (unextended) things. Another set entails that these cannot be ordered so that an infinite number of them compose a finite interval.
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  24.  37
    Donald L. M. Baxter (1997). Abstraction, Inseparability, and Identity. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 57 (2):307-330.
    Berkeley and Hume object to Locke's account of abstraction. Abstraction is separating in the mind what cannot be separated in reality. Their objection is that if a is inseparable in reality from b, then the idea of a is inseparable from the idea of b. The former inseparability is the reason for the latter. In most interpretations, however, commentators leave the former unexplained in explaining the latter. This article assumes that Berkeley and Hume present a unified front against Locke. Hume (...)
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  25.  13
    Kate Abramson, Donald Ainslie, Donald L. M. Baxter, Tom L. Beauchamp, Martin Bell, Richard Bett, John Bricke, Philip Bricker, Justin Broackes & Stephen Buckle (2003). Hume Studies Referees, 2002–2003. Hume Studies 29 (2):403-404.
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  26.  41
    Donald L. M. Baxter (2001). Loose Identity and Becoming Something Else. Noûs 35 (4):592–601.
    Armstrong has loose identity be an equivalence relation, yet in cases of something becoming something else, loose identity is not transitive. My alternate account has an attribution of loose identity be really two: a true attribution of an underlying relation (perhaps not transitive) and a false attribution--a Humean feigning-of strict identity. The feigning may become less appropriate as the underlying relation grows more distant. What makes it appropriate initially is that the underlying relation supports a predictable change in some collective. (...)
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  27.  34
    Donald L. M. Baxter (2005). Altruism, Grief, and Identity. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 70 (2):371–383.
    The divide between oneself and others has made altruism seem irrational to some thinkers, as Sidgwick points out. I use characterizations of grief, especially by St. Augustine, to question the divide, and use a composition-as-identity metaphysics of parts and wholes to make literal sense of those characterizations.
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  28.  28
    Donald L. M. Baxter (2000). Hume's Puzzle About Identity. Philosophical Studies 98 (2):187-201.
    Hume's puzzle about identity is not semantic, like Frege's, but concerns representation-as. It concerns not what there is which a representation represents, but rather what the representation represents there as being. Hume asks, what do we represent there as being when we realize that something and something are for all we know numerically identical and for all we know numerically distinct? I show that we must represent there as perhaps being something that perhaps is distinct from itself. But we have (...)
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  29.  14
    Donald L. M. Baxter (1992). Continuity and Common Sense. International Studies in Philosophy 24 (3):93-97.
    I propose a common sense, local anti-realism for the ordinary concept of continuity. Whether or not something, e.g. a trail, is continuous ordinarily depends on people’s purposes and capabilities. This dependence entails that there is no fact of the matter whether something is continuous. Relativizing continuity to gain a fact of the matter, unacceptably fragments our ordinary concept, and makes it false that we given new information can change our minds when applying the concept.
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  30.  1
    Donald L. M. Baxter (1994). Corporeal Substances and True Unities. Leibniz Society Review 4:9-10.
    In the correspondence with Arnauld, Leibniz contends that each corporeal substance has a substantial form. In support he argues that to be real a corporeal substance must be one and indivisible, a true unity. I will show how this argument precludes a tempting interpretation of corporeal substances as composite unities. Rather it mandates the interpretation that each corporeal substance is a single monad.
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  31.  11
    Donald L. M. Baxter (2005). Altruism, Grief, and Identity. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 70 (2):371 - 383.
    The divide between oneself and others has made altruism seem irrational to some thinkers, as Sidgwick points out. I use characterizations of grief, especially by St. Augustine, to question the divide, and use a composition-as-identity metaphysics of parts and wholes to make literal sense of those characterizations.
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  32.  3
    Donald L. M. Baxter (2000). Leibniz on Contingent Conceptual Truths in the Arnauld Correspondence. Studia Leibnitiana 32 (2):191 - 214.
    Zu Arnauld und im Discours de métaphysique sagt Leibniz, daß alle Wahrheiten begrifflich (prädikativ) und manche gleichwohl kontingent sind. Ich untersuche das Problem im Hinblick auf mögliche Wesen, die ich als möglich auch betrachte und versuche nachzuweisen, daß die Position keinen Widerspruch enthält, weil Leibniz zwei Arten begrifflichen Enthaltenseins unterscheidet -logisch und kausal: Die erste ist notwendig, die zweite jedoch kontingent und nur hypothetisch notwendig, notwendig also lediglich unter der Voraussetzung des vorgegebenen freien Willens Gottes. Es gibt insofern auch zwei (...)
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  33. Donald L. M. Baxter (2009). Hume's Difficulty: Time and Identity in the Treatise. Routledge.
    In this volume--the first, focused study of Hume on time and identity--Baxter focuses on Hume’s treatment of the concept of numerical identity, which is central to Hume's famous discussions of the external world and personal identity. Hume raises a long unappreciated, and still unresolved, difficulty with the concept of identity: how to represent something as "a medium betwixt unity and number." Superficial resemblance to Frege’s famous puzzle has kept the difficulty in the shadows. Hume’s way of addressing it makes sense (...)
     
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  34. Donald L. M. Baxter (2012). Hume's Difficulty: Time and Identity in the Treatise. Routledge.
    In this volume--the first, focused study of Hume on time and identity--Baxter focuses on Hume’s treatment of the concept of numerical identity, which is central to Hume's famous discussions of the external world and personal identity. Hume raises a long unappreciated, and still unresolved, difficulty with the concept of identity: how to represent something as "a medium betwixt unity and number." Superficial resemblance to Frege’s famous puzzle has kept the difficulty in the shadows. Hume’s way of addressing it makes sense (...)
     
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  35. Donald L. M. Baxter (2009). Précis of Hume’s Difficulty: Time and Identity in the TREATISE. Philosophical Studies 146 (3):407-411.
    Despite its central role in his important theories of self and external world, Hume’s account of numerical identity has been neglected or misunderstood. The account is designed as a response to a difficulty concerning identity apparently original with Hume. I argue that the problem is real, crucial, and remains unresolved today. Hume’s response to the difficulty enlists his idiosyncratic, empiricist views on time: time consists of discrete, partless moments, some of which coexist with successions of others. Time is more like (...)
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