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Profile: Howard Peacock (University College London)
  1. Howard Peacock (2011). Two Kinds of Ontological Commitment. Philosophical Quarterly 61 (242):79-104.
    There are two different ways of understanding the notion of ‘ontological commitment ’. A question about ‘what is said to be’ by a theory or ‘what a theory says there is’ deals with ‘explicit’ commitment ; a question about the ontological costs or preconditions of the truth of a theory concerns ‘implicit’ commitment. I defend a conception of ontological commitment as implicit commitment, and argue that existentially quantified idioms in natural language are implicitly, but not explicitly, committing. I use the (...)
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    Howard Peacock (2011). Is There a Problem About Propositional Unity? Dialectica 65 (3):393-418.
    The problem of the ‘Unity of the Proposition’ is the problem of explaining the difference between a content-expressing declarative sentence and a ‘mere list’ of referents. The prevailing view is that such a problem is to be solved metaphysically, either by reducing our ontology to exclude propositions or universals, or by explaining how it is possible for a certain kind of complex entity – the ‘proposition’– to ‘unify’ its constituents. I argue that these metaphysical approaches cannot succeed; instead the only (...)
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    Howard Peacock (2009). What's Wrong with Ostrich Nominalism? Philosophical Papers 38 (2):183-217.
    Whereas traditional nominalists accept the realist's challenge to solve a 'Problem of Universals', the Ostrich Nominalist responds that there is no such Problem to answer. I suggest that Ostrich Nominalist arguments expose a genuine flaw in the realist project. However, I argue, Ostrich Nominalism is ultimately defeated by a problem about the analysis of qualitative sameness and difference. Qualitative sameness and difference are adequately understood only as sameness or difference in some respect. The need to say what these respects of (...)
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    Howard Peacock (2014). Existence as the Possibility of Reference. Acta Analytica 29 (4):389-411.
    The mere fact that ontological debates are possible requires us to address the question, what is it to claim that a certain entity or kind of entity exists—in other words, what do we do when we make an existence-claim? I develop and defend one candidate answer to this question, namely that to make an existence-claim with regard to Fs is to claim that we can refer to Fs. I show how this theory can fulfil the most important explanatory desiderata for (...)
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    Howard Peacock (2013). Bradley's Regress, Truthmaking, and Constitution. Grazer Philosophische Studien 86 (1):1-21.
    Bradley's Regress-a problem about what grounds or 'accounts for' the ability of two or more things to stand in a relation-is often presented as a problem about truthmakers: what entity 'makes it true' that two objects a and b are related? I criticize this account of the regress on the grounds that it is dialectically weak and trivially solvable. I then propose an alternative interpretation, according to which the regress challenges our ability to use relational entities to give an account (...)
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