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Profile: Heimir Geirsson (Iowa State University)
  1. Heimir Geirsson (2005). Conceivability and Defeasible Modal Justification. Philosophical Studies 122 (3):279-304.
    This paper advances the thesis that we can justifiably believe philosophically interesting possibility statements. The first part of the paper critically discusses van Inwagens skeptical arguments while at the same time laying some of the foundation for a positive view. The second part of the paper advances a view of conceivability in terms of imaginability, where imaginging can be propositional, pictorial, or a combination of the two, and argues that conceivability can, and often does, provide us with justified beliefs of (...)
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  2.  96
    Heimir Geirsson (2014). Moral Twin Earth, Intuitions, and Kind Terms. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 14 (1):91-110.
    Horgan and Timmons, with their Moral Twin Earth arguments, argue that the new moral realism falls prey to either objectionable relativism or referential indeterminacy. The Moral Twin Earth thought experiment on which the arguments are based relies in crucial ways on the use of intuitions. First, it builds on Putnam’s well-known Twin Earth example and the conclusions drawn from that about the meaning of kind names. Further, it relies on the intuition that were Earthers and Twin Earthers to meet, they (...)
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  3. Heimir Geirsson (2005). Moral Twin-Earth and Semantic Moral Realism. Erkenntnis 62 (3):353-378.
    Mark Timmons and Terry Horgan have argued that the new moral realism, which rests on the causal theory of reference, is untenable. While I do agree that the new moral realism is untenable, I do not think that Timmons and Horgan have succeeded in showing that it is. I will lay out the case for new moral realism and Horgan and Timmons’ argument against it, and then argue that their argument fails. Further, I will discuss Boyd’s semantic theory as well (...)
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  4.  60
    Heimir Geirsson (2014). Conceivability and Coherence: A Skeptical View of Zombies. Erkenntnis 79 (1):211-225.
    One reason for the recent attention to conceivability claims is to be found in the extended use of conceivability in philosophy of mind, and then especially in connection with zombie thought experiments. The idea is that zombies are conceivable; beings that look like us and behave like us in all ways, but for which “all is dark inside;” that is, for a zombie, there is no “what it is like.” There is no “what it is like” to be a zombie, (...)
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  5. Heimir Geirsson (2006). Plantinga and the Problem of Evil. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 8:109-113.
    The logical problem of evil centers on the apparent inconsistency of the following two propositions: God is omnipotent, omniscient, and wholly good, and There is evil in the world. This is the problem that Alvin Plantinga takes to task in his celebrated response to the problem of evil. Plantinga denies that and are inconsistent, arguing that J.L. Mackie's principle - that there are no limits to what an omnipotent thing can do - is false. We challenge Plantinga, and defend Mackie's (...)
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  6.  90
    Heimir Geirsson (2003). Moral Twin Earth: The Intuitive Argument. Southwest Philosophy Review 19 (1):115-124.
    Horgan and Timmons have argued that our intuitions about the semantics of non-moral language and moral language differ, and that while twin-earth semantic intuitions generate one result in Putnam´s twater case, moral twin-earth fails to generate comparable results for moral terms. Horgan and Timmon´s conclude from this that the semantic norms governing the use of natural kind terms differ from the semantic norms governing the use of moral terms. I will argue that Horgan and Timmons’ intuitive moral twin-earth argument fails (...)
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  7.  77
    Patrick Francken & Heimir Geirsson (1999). Regresses, Sufficient Reasons, and Cosmological Arguments. Journal of Philosophical Research 24:285-304.
    Most of the historically salient versions of the Cosmological Argument rest on two assumptions. The first assumption is that some contingeney (i.e., contingent fact) is such that a necessity is required to explain it. Against that assumption we will argue that necessities alone cannot explain any contingency and, furthermore, that it is impossible to explain the totality of contingencies at all.The second assumption is the Principle of Sufficient Reason. Against the Principle of Sufficient Reason we will argue that it is (...)
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  8. Heimir Geirsson (1994). Necessity, Apriority, and True Identity Statements. Erkenntnis 40 (2):227 - 242.
    The thesis that the necessary and the a priori are extensionally equivalent consists of two independent claims: 1) All a priori truths are necessary and 2) all necessary truths are a priori. In Naming and Necessity1 Saul A. Kripke gives examples of necessary but a posteriori truths, so he disagrees with the second leg of the thesis.2 His examples are of two types; on the one hand statements involving essential properties and on the other hand true identity statements. My concern (...)
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  9.  89
    Heimir Geirsson (1991). The Contingent a Priori: Kripke's Two Types of Examples. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 69 (2):195 – 205.
    In Naming and Necessity' Saul A. Kripke gives two types of examples of contingent truths knowable a priori. So he disagrees with the first leg of the thesis. As we will see later, his examples depend on the direct designation theory of names. While there have been attempts to provide examples of the contingent a priori that do not depend on that theory, most of those examples should be viewed as expansions, or modifications, of Kripke's examples. Philip Kitcher, for example, (...)
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  10.  54
    Heimir Geirsson (2004). Contra Collective Epistemic Agency. Southwest Philosophy Review 20 (2):163-166.
    In a couple of recent papers Deborah Tollefsen has argued that groups should be viewed as having some of the intentional and epistemic properties as do individuals. In “Organizations as True Believers” she argues that corporations really do have intentional states.1 In “Collective Epistemic Agency”2 she continues her development of group agency and she now argues that collectives can be genuine knowers. The target of her arguments is, naturally, the wide spread view that “knowers are individuals, and knowledge is generated (...)
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  11.  83
    Heimir Geirsson (1998). True Belief Reports and the Sharing of Beliefs. Journal of Philosophical Research 23 (January):331-342.
    In recent years Russell´s view that there are singular propositions, namely propositions that contain the individuals they are about, has gained followers. As a response to a number of puzzles about attitude ascriptions several Russellians (as I will call those who accept the view that proper names and indexicals only contribute their referents to the propositions expressed by the sentences in which they occur), including David Kaplan and Nathan Salmon, have drawn a distinction between what proposition is believed and how (...)
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  12.  23
    Heimir Geirsson (1995). Form and Reason. Teaching Philosophy 18 (2):185-186.
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  13.  65
    Heimir Geirsson & Michael Losonsky (2005). What God Could Have Made. Southern Journal of Philosophy 43 (3):355-376.
    Plantinga grants that there are possible worlds with freedom and no moral evil, but he argues that it is possible that although God is omnipotent, it is not within God’s power to actualize a world containing freedom and no moral evil. Plantinga believes that the atheologian assumes that it is necessary that it is within an omnipotent God’s power to actualize these better worlds, but in fact, Plantinga argues, this is demonstrably not the case. Since so many philosophers have regarded (...)
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  14.  16
    Heimir Geirsson (2005). Beyond Rigidity: The Unfinished Semantic Agenda of Naming and Necessity, by Scott Soames. Disputatio.
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  15.  14
    Heimir Geirsson (2011). Multiple Realizability, Physical Constraints, and Possibilities. Southwest Philosophy Review 27 (2):53-56.
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  16.  43
    Heimir Geirsson (2002). Justification and Ways of Believing. Disputatio 12:1 - 11.
    One of the issues that has been hotly discussed in connection with the direct designation theory is whether or not coreferential names can be substituted salva veritate in epistemic contexts. Some direct designation theorists believe that they can be so substituted. Some direct designation theorists and all Fregeans and neo-Fregeans believe that they cannot be so substituted. Fregeans of various stripes have used their intuition against free substitution to argue against the direct designation theory. Some direct designation theorists have used (...)
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  17.  42
    Heimir Geirsson (1996). Partial Propositions and Cognitive Content. Journal of Philosophical Research 21:117-128.
    Recently there has been a surge of new Fregeans who claim that the direct designation theory, as understood by contemporary Russellians, does not, and cannot, account for the different cognitive significance of statements containing different but codesignative names or indexicals. Instead, they say we must use a fine grained notion of propositions; one which builds a mode of presentation into proposition in addition to including in them the object referred to by the name or indexical in the sentence expressing the (...)
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  18.  19
    Heimir Geirsson (2001). Discovering Identity. Southwest Philosophy Review 17 (2):43-57.
    Driven by the intuition that the propositions expressed by a=a and a=b, where ‘a’ and ‘b’ are codesignative names, differ in cognitive value, philosophers constructing theories of beliefs and belief attributions have been attracted to elements from both Frege’s and Russell’s theories. This, I will argue, has had the consequence that some of the theories entail that it is a necessary condition for making the astronomical discovery that Hesperus is Phosphorus that we make a mental discovery about our representations of (...)
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  19.  15
    Heimir Geirsson (1999). Justification and Relative Apriority. Ratio 12 (2):148–161.
    There is obviously tension between any view which claims that the object denoted is all that names and simple referring terms contribute to propositions expressed by sentences in which they appear and the apparent a posteriority of identity statements containing different but codesignative names. Frege solved the tension by adopting a description theory of names. The direct designation theorist cannot do the same, for that would amount to abandoning the theory. Instead, she has to provide one of two solutions; (a) (...)
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  20.  15
    Heimir Geirsson (2002). Frege and Object Dependent Propositions. Dialectica 56 (4):299–314.
    Gareth Evans and John McDowell have challenged the traditional reading of Frege according to which Frege accepted propositions that are not object dependent, i.e., propositions that can exist even though the proper names that occur in the sentences that express them do not refer. A consequence of the Evans‐McDowell interpretation of Frege is that if someone hallucinates that there is an oasis in front of her, then there is no thought of an oasis but only an illusion of a thought. (...)
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  21.  10
    Heimir Geirsson & Michael Losonsky (eds.) (1998). Beginning Metaphysics: An Introductory Text with Readings. Blackwell Publishers.
    This flexible textbook is both an introduction and a reader in metaphysics combining original discussion with selections from primary sources.
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  22.  50
    Heimir Geirsson & Margaret Holmgren (eds.) (2010). Ethical Theory, Second Edition: A Concise Anthology. Broadview Press.
    This anthology is designed for use as a brief introduction to ethical theory. Included are sections on various forms of ethical theory: Ethical Relativism; Divine Command Theory; Egoism; Consequentialism; Deontology; Justice; Virtue Ethics; Feminist Ethics; and, new to the second edition, Pluralism. Each section includes two or three of the most important and interesting contributions to the field, together with brief introductions by the editors. The second edition contains an improved approach to applied ethics. Whereas in the first edition the (...)
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  23. Heimir Geirsson (1988). Names and Beliefs. Dissertation, The University of Nebraska - Lincoln
    The general topic of this work is the information value of declarative sentences containing proper names. I begin by accepting the direct designation theory of names. The theory, however, does not appear to be able to account for the difference in information value between sentences like 'Hesperus is Phosphorus' and 'Hesperus is Hesperus'. In order to explain this difference I develop an account of belief that takes a novel approach to the contents of beliefs of propositions expressed by such sentences. (...)
     
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  24.  15
    Heimir Geirsson (2012). Philosophy of Language and Webs of Information. Routledge.
    Introduction and overview -- Reference -- Propositions: structure and objects -- Reporting attitudes -- Singular propositions and acquaintance -- Beliefs and belief reports -- Empty names -- Attitude contexts: beliefs and justification.
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  25.  8
    Heimir Geirsson & Michael Losonsky (eds.) (1996). Readings in Language and Mind. Blackwell Publishers.
    This is an anthology of landmark essays in the philosophy of language, philosophy of mind and cognitive science since 1950. It includes essays that aim to reflect the fact that philosophy and the science of mind and language have close historical and conceptual ties. Each section begins with a brief and simple overview highlighting the issues and recommending other readings. The combination of this editorial material with a selection of classic essays makes this anthology a very flexible tool for introductory (...)
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  26. Heimir Geirsson & Michael Losonsky (eds.) (1996). Readings in Language and Mind. Wiley-Blackwell.
    This is an anthology of landmark essays in the philosophy of language, philosophy of mind and cognitive science since 1950. It includes essays that aim to reflect the fact that philosophy and the science of mind and language have close historical and conceptual ties. Each section begins with a brief and simple overview highlighting the issues and recommending other readings. The combination of this editorial material with a selection of classic essays makes this anthology a very flexible tool for introductory (...)
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  27. Heimir Geirsson (2005). Review of Beyond Rigidity: The Unfinished Semantic Agenda of Naming and Necessity. [REVIEW] Disputatio 1:185-191.
     
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  28. E. D. Klemke & Heimir Geirsson (eds.) (2000). Contemporary Analytic and Linguistic Philosophies. Prometheus Books.
     
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  29. Heimir Geirsson & Michael Losonsky (eds.) (1991). Beginning Metaphysics. John Wiley & Sons.
    This flexible textbook is both an introduction and a reader in metaphysics combining original discussion with selections from primary sources.
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