Kant’s example of lying to the murderer at the door has been a cherished source of scorn for thinkers with little sympathy for Kant’s philosophy and a source of deep puzzlement for those more favorably inclined. The problem is that Kant seems to say that it’s always wrong to lie – even if necessary to prevent a murderer from reaching his victim – and that if one does lie, one becomes partially responsible for the killing of the victim. If this (...) is correct, then Kant’s account seems not only to require us to respect the murderer more than the victim, but also that we somehow can become responsible for the consequences that ultimately result from someone else’s wrongdoing. After World War II our spontaneous negative reaction to this apparently absurd line of argument is brought out even more starkly by making the murderer at the door a Nazi officer looking for Jews hidden in people’s homes. This paper argues that Kant’s discussion of lying to the murderer at the door has been seriously misinterpreted. The suggested root of the problem is that the Doctrine of Right has been given insufficient attention in Kant interpretation. It is in this work we find many of the arguments needed to understand Kant’s analysis of lying to the murderer in “On a Supposed Right to Lie from Philanthropy”. When we interpret this essay in light of Kant’s discussion in the Doctrine of Right, we can make sense of why lying to the murderer isn’t to wrong the murderer, why we nevertheless become responsible for the consequences of the lie and why choosing to lie to do wrong ‘in the highest degree’. Finally, the Doctrine of Right account of rightful relations makes it possible for us to analyze the example when we make the murderer at the door a Nazi officer. (shrink)
There is a “revolving door” between federal agencies and the industries regulated by them. Often, at the end of their industry tenure, key industry personnel seek employment in government regulatory entities and vice versa. The flow of workers between the two sectors could bring about good. Industry veterans might have specialized knowledge that could be useful to regulatory bodies and former government employees could help businesses become and remain compliant with regulations. But the “revolving door” also poses at least three (...) ethical and policy challenges that have to do with public trust and fair representation. First, the presence of former key industry personnel on review boards could adversely impact the public’s confidence in regulatory decisions about new technology products, including agrifood biotechnologies. Second, the ‘‘revolving door’’ may result in policy decisions about technologies that are biased in favor of industry interests. And third, the ‘‘revolving door’’ virtually guarantees industry a voice in the policy-making process, even though other stakeholders have no assurance that their concerns will be addressed by regulatory agencies. We believe these three problems indicate a failure of regulatory review for new technologies. The review process lacks credibility because, at the very least, it is procedurally biased in favor of industry interests. We argue that prohibiting the flow of personnel between regulatory agencies and industry would not be a satisfactory solution to the three problems of public trust and just representation. To address them, regulatory entities must reject the traditional notion of objectivity. Instead they should adopt the conception of objectivity developed by Sandra Harding and re-configure their regulatory review on the basis of it. That will ensure that a heterogeneous group of stakeholders is at the decision-making table. The fair representation of interests of different constituencies in the review process could do much to inspire warranted public confidence in regulatory protocols and decisions. (shrink)
In this article, I turn my attention to the figure of the ignorant master, Joseph Jacotot, that is depicted in The Ignorant Schoolmaster. Five Lessons in Intellectual Emancipation (1991). I will show that the voice of Jacotot can actually be read as a reaction against the progressive figure of the teacher which, following Rancière's view, can be seen as effecting a stultification. In some respects, however, Rancière's analysis of the pedagogical order no longer seems to be valid in today's partly (...) reconfigured, pedagogical order that depicts the teacher in terms of facilitation. Yet, the figure of the facilitator can be seen as effecting a stultification as well. Therefore, I will stress that Jacotot's voice is highly relevant today. The most important difference between the figure of the (old and current) figure of the stultifyer and that of the ignorant master is identified in their starting point. The stultifying master starts from the assumption of inequality. S/he transforms taught material (words, text, images, etc.) into objects of knowledge or resources for competence development that open the door to another world. The ignorant master (Jacotot) assumes equal intelligence and draws attention to a thing in common. According to Rancière, the ignorant master keeps the door closed and puts his/her students in the presence of a thing in common. (shrink)
In this essay Troy Richardson works to develop a conceptual framework and set of terms by which a diplomatic reception of different forms of law can be developed in multicultural education. Taking up the trope of the door in multiculturalist discourse as a site in which a welcoming of the difference of others is organized, Richardson interrogates the complex nature of receptivity to Indigenous customary law, in particular. He argues that, within this trope, a metonymic structure operates in relation to (...) the deployment of “policy” that maintains a perspective of customary law as premodern and primitive. This structure leads to an impoverished set of terms and a lack of diplomacy toward difference. Richardson proceeds by considering the notion of extraterritoriality and the metonyms that organize Emmanuel Levinas's discourse of “doors” in conceptualizing a welcoming receptivity. The term “extraterritoriality” anticipates the law of the other as it approaches the door and implies a diplomatic moment of reception of such difference. Richardson concludes by highlighting Jacques Derrida's evaluation of Levinas's discourse of receptivity and by considering the possibilities for a diplomatic engagement with the laws of others toward a mutation in the current geopolitical moment. (shrink)
Using various meanings of ?visit? and ?friend? this essay freely explores connections between Milton's cultivation of fame in Europe, leading to reports in the early lives of visits of scholarly foreigners to his door, and the extraordinary concentration on scenarios of human and divine visitation in the late poems. Social, political and religious strands are followed, from humanist self-presentation in the sonnets through to prophetic isolation in the late poems. Codes of friendship are rehearsed concerning confidentiality and betrayal, and attention (...) is paid to the effect of blindness on the activities of the humanist writer, the need for supporting visits, and an increasing interiority and preoccupation with the responsibilities of those engaged with God's special causes. The proto-humanist visit of Raphael to Adam in Paradise Lost and the many guiding visitations in that poem are contrasted with the situation in Samson Agonistes, where divine guidance is presented as clearer in the past than the present, and the reader is invited to share difficulties of discernment in the Restoration world, prefigured in Judges. The essay ends with the simultaneous publication of Milton's humanist legacy and sale of many of his foreign-language books. (shrink)
Kerry Laird, a literature and composition professor who does not have tenure, is in his first year at Temple. He said that, as a student and instructor, he always enjoyed the way professors use their office doors to reveal bits of their personality and to challenge students with cartoons, artwork, and various phrases. So when he started at Temple, he put a cartoon up showing Smokey the Bear, a girl scout and a boy scout and the tag line: “Kids — (...) don’t fuck with God or bears will eat you.” He received a complaint and decided that he understood why the college “might not want the f word” in the hallway, and so he decided to put up something else. (shrink)
Embarrassed by the apparent rigorism Kant expresses so bluntly in 'On a Supposed Right to Lie,' numerous contemporary Kantians have attempted to show that Kant's ethics can justify lying in specific circumstances, in particular, when lying to a murderer is necessary in order to prevent her from killing another innocent person. My aim is to improve upon these efforts and show that lying to prevent the death of another innocent person could be required in Kantian terms. I argue (1) that (...) our perfect Kantian duty of self-preservation can require our lying to save our own lives when threatened with unjust aggression, and (2) that Kant's understanding of moral duty was that duties are symmetrical , such that if one has a duty to perform a given action on one's own behalf or to protect one's own rational nature, then one also has a duty to perform similar acts on other's behalf or to protect their rational nature. Thus, that the individual protected against aggression by means of deception is not oneself should be of no consequence from a Kantian perspective. Lying to the murderer is thus an extension of the Kantian requirement of self-defense. (shrink)
It is, as Dana Nelkin (2004) says, a rare point of agreement among participants in the free will debate that rational deliberation presupposes a belief in freedom. Of course, the precise content of that belief – and, indeed, the nature of deliberation – is controversial, with some philosophers claiming that deliberation commits us to a belief in libertarian free will (Taylor 1966; Ginet 1966), and others claiming that, on the contrary, deliberation presupposes nothing more than an epistemic openness that is (...) entirely compatible with determinism (Dennett 1984; Kapitan 1986). Since, however, the claim that deliberation presupposes freedom is accepted by all sides in the free will debate, it ought to be possible to frame a minimal version that is neutral between compatibilism and incompatibilism, and which therefore can be accepted by everyone. Peter van Inwagen has advanced the best-known such claim: ‘all philosophers who have thought about deliberation agree on one point: one cannot deliberate about whether to perform a certain act unless one believes it is possible for one to perform it’ (van Inwagen 1983: 154). It is the purpose of this paper to argue that van Inwagen, and the many philosophers who have followed him in this regard, is wrong. (shrink)
Dretske proposes a theory of knowledge in terms of a theory of information, but wishes to deny that empirical knowledge settles the large question of scepticism. This leads him to deny the closure of knowledge under known entailment. In a recent paper Jäger argues that Dretske’s theory of information entails closure for knowledge, ‘at least for the kind of propositions here at issue’ (Jäger 2004:194). If Jäger is right, Dretske is seriously embarrassed and must give something up. In this paper (...) I show that there are two flaws in Jäger’s argument. The principle of informational closure considered by Jäger is incompatible with Dretske’s theory of information, and Jäger’s argument that Dretske is committed to a certain kind of substitution instance of that principle of informational closure is invalid. I propose adequacy conditions on signalled information and use them to motivate a formulation of a general closure principle for signalled information. I show that Dretske’s account of information satisfies the adequacy conditions, but in a way which commits him to an instance of the general closure principle. I argue that Dretske is consequently committed to closure for some cases of knowledge for which he wishes to deny closure. Finally, I sketch how, on the basis of the closure principle to which Dretske is committed, Jäger’s broader argument may yet go through. (shrink)
BAT - the belief in ability thesis - states, roughly, that for an agent to be able rationally to deliberate between two or more alternatives, she must believe that she is metaphysically free to perform each alternative. I show, by way of a counterexample, that BAT is false.
Quantum mechanics has sometimes been taken to be an empiricist (vs. realist) theory. I state the empiricist's argument, then outline a recently noticed type of measurement--protective measurement--that affords a good reply for the realist. This paper is a reply to scientific empiricism (about quantum mechanics), but is neither a refutation of that position, nor an argument in favor of scientific realism. Rather, my aim is to place realism and empiricism on an even score in regards to quantum theory.
Veel Nederlandse woorden (dans, zet, oordeel, assertie, ...) duiden zowel een handeling aan als het resultaat van die handeling. Het fenomeen doet zich in vrijwel alle talen voor en het lijkt erop dat het menselijke cognitieve apparaat er niet zoveel moeite mee heeft te wisselen tussen een statisch perspectief dat resultaten ziet en een dynamisch perspectief dat vooral gericht is op de processen die tot die resultaten geleid hebben. De filosofie heeft meer moeite met het wisselen tussen een statisch en (...) een dynamisch perspectief. Na een veelbelovende start waarbij Heraclites zei dat alles vloeit, maar Zeno en Parmenides bewezen dat alles integendeel stilstaat, lijkt de statische invalshoek toch de overhand te hebben gekregen. Oordelen betreffen statische proposities en redeneren vindt zijn neerslag in statische bewijzen. (shrink)
Preface to the fifth edition -- A world of difference -- A universe charged with the grandeur of God : Christian theism -- The clockwork universe : deism -- The silence of finite space : naturalism -- Zero point : nihilism -- Beyond nihilism : existentialism -- Journey to the east : eastern pantheistic monism -- A separate universe : the New Age spirituality without religion -- The vanished horizon : postmodernism -- A view from the Middle East : Islamic (...) theism -- The examined life. (shrink)
This paper makes an ethical and a conceptual case against any purported duty to come out of the closet. While there are recognizable goods associated with coming out, namely, leading an authentic life and resisting oppression, these goods generate a set of imperfect duties that are defeasible in a wide range of circumstances, and are only sometimes fulfilled by coming out. Second, practices of coming out depend on a ‘lump’ picture of sexuality and on an insufficiently subtle account of responsible (...) disclosure. We value and promote the goods of out best when we leave the framework of the closet, and not merely the closet door, behind. (shrink)
Gender Identity Disorder (GID) is regarded as a mental illness and included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV). It will also appear in the DSM-V, due to be published in 2013. The classification of GID as a mental illness is contentious. But what would happen to sufferers if it were removed from the diagnostic manuals? Would people lose their entitlement to funded medical care, or to reimbursement under insurance schemes? On what basis should medical treatment for (...) GID be provided? What are the moral arguments for and against funded or reimbursed medical care for GID? This paper starts out with a fiction: GID is removed from the diagnostic manuals. Then the paper splits in two, as in happened in the Howitt’s 1998 film Sliding Doors . The two scenarios run parallel. In one, it is argued that GID is on a par with other body modifications, such as cosmetic and racial surgery, and that, for ethical reasons, treatment for GID should be privately negotiated by applicants and professionals and privately paid for. In the other scenario, it is argued that the comparison between GID and other body modifications is misleading. Whether or not medical treatment should be funded or reimbursed is independent of whether GID is on a par with other forms of body dissatisfaction. (shrink)
To make progress on the problem of consciousness, we have to confront it directly. In this paper, I first isolate the truly hard part of the problem, separating it from more tractable parts and giving an account of why it is so difficult to explain. I critique some recent work that uses reductive methods to address consciousness, and argue that such methods inevitably fail to come to grips with the hardest part of the problem. Once this failure is recognized, the (...) door to further progress is opened. In the second half of the paper, I argue that if we move to a new kind of nonreductive explanation, a naturalistic account of consciousness can be given. I put forward my own candidate for such an account: a nonreductive theory based on principles of structural coherence and organizational invariance, and a double-aspect theory of information. (shrink)
In this paper I argue for three distinct, albeit mutually illuminating theses: first I explain why well informed eighteenth-century thinkers, e.g., the pre-critical Immanuel Kant and Richard Bentley, who had a very important correspondence with Newton, would have identified important aspects of Newton’s natural philosophy with (a species of modern) Epicureanism. Second, I explore how some significant changes to Newton’s Principia between the first (1687) and second (1713) editions can be explained in terms of attempts to reframe the Principia so (...) that the charge of “Epicureanism” can be deflected. In order to account for this I call attention to significant political and theological changes in the wake of the Glorious Revolution; as has been documented by others, it turns out that Bentley plays a non-trivial role in these matters. Third, I argue that there is an argument in Kant’s (1755) Universal Natural History and Theory of the Heavens that undermines a key claim in Newton’s General Scholium. I suggest that this particular argument reopens the door to Epicurean “blind necessity,” in particular, Spinozism. -/- . (shrink)
In this paper I argue for a version of the Total Evidence view according to which the rational response to disagreement depends upon one's total evidence. I argue that perceptual evidence of a certain kind is significantly weightier than many other types of evidence, including testimonial. Furthermore, what is generally called "The Uniqueness Thesis" is actually a conflation of two distinct principles that I dub "Evidential Uniqueness" and "Rationality Uniqueness." The former principle is likely true but the latter almost certainly (...) false. Seeing why the Rationality Uniqueness fails opens the door to seeing how mutual reasonable disagreement is possible even among those who share the same evidence. (shrink)
So-called 'Frege cases' pose a challenge for anyone who would hope to treat the contents of beliefs (and similar mental states) as Russellian propositions: It is then impossible to explain people's behavior in Frege cases without invoking non-intentional features of their mental states, and doing that seems to undermine the intentionality of psychological explanation. In the present paper, I develop this sort of objection in what seems to me to be its strongest form, but then offer a response to it. (...) I grant that psychological explanation must invoke non-intentional features of mental states, but it is of crucial importance which such features must be referenced. It emerges from a careful reading of Frege's own view that we need only invoke what I call 'formal' relations between mental states. I then claim that referencing such 'formal' relations within psychological explanation does not undermine its intentionality in the way that invoking, say, neurological features would. The central worry about this view is that either (a) 'formal' relations bring narrow content in through back door or (b) 'formal' relations end up doing all the explanatory work. Various forms of each worry are discussed. The crucial point, ultimately, is that the present strategy for responding to Frege cases is not available either to the 'psycho-Fregean', who would identify the content of a belief with its truth-value, nor even to someone who would identify the content of a belief with a set of possible worlds. It requires the sort of rich semantic structure that is distinctive of Russellian propositions. There is therefore no reason to suppose that the invocation of 'formal' relations threatens to deprive content of any work to do. (shrink)
The aim of this article is to illustrate how a belief in the existence of kinds may be justified for the particular case of natural kinds: particularly noteworthy in this respect is the weight borne by scientific natural kinds (e.g., physical, chemical, and biological kinds) in (i) inductive arguments; (ii) the laws of nature; and (iii) causal explanations. It is argued that biological taxa are properly viewed as kinds as well, despite the fact that they have been by some alleged (...) to be individuals. Since it turns out that the arguments associated with the standard Kripke/Putnam semantics for natural kind terms only establish the non-descriptiveness of natural kind terms and not their rigidity, the door is open to analyze these terms as denoting traditional predicate-extensions. Finally, special issues raised by physical and chemical kinds are considered briefly, in particular impurities, isotopes and the threat of incommensurability. (shrink)
I think it is a lapse of taste to spend a grown-up life on problems of which people in the office next door, let alone those outside the building, cannot see the point. I rather fear that the so-called semantic or logical problem of vagueness, Professor Williamson’s own showcase example of his compulsory methods, strikes me as like that.
We argue that it is most rational for God, given God's character and policies, to adopt an open-door policy towards those in hell – making it possible for those in hell to escape. We argue that such a policy towards the residents of hell should issue from God's character and motivational states. In particular, God's parental love ought to motivate God to extend the provision for reconciliation with Him for an infinite amount of time.
David Lewis is widely credited with the first formulation of common knowledge and the first rigorous analysis of convention. However, common knowledge and convention entered mainstream game theory only when they were formulated, later and independently, by other theorists. As a result, some of the most distinctive and valuable features of Lewis' game theory have been overlooked. We re-examine this theory by reconstructing key parts in a more formal way, extending it, and showing how it differs from more recent game (...) theory. In contrast to current theories of common knowledge, Lewis' theory is based on an explicit analysis of the modes of reasoning that are accessible to rational individuals and so can be used to analyse the genesis of common knowledge. Lewis' analysis of convention emphasises the role of inductive reasoning and of salience in the maintenance of conventions over time. Footnotes Earlier versions of this paper were presented at the 13th Amsterdam Colloquium at the University of Amsterdam, at a workshop on social norms at Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, and at seminars at Tilburg University and the University of Bristol. We are grateful for comments from participants at those meetings, from two anonymous referees, and from Michael Bacharach, Nick Bardsley, Cristina Bicchieri, Luc Bovens, Simon Grant, David McCarthy, Shepley Orr, Brian Skyrms, Peter Vanderschraaf, Peter Wakker and Jörgen Weibull. Robert Sugden's work was supported by the Leverhulme Trust. (shrink)
In his critique of my recent book, Breaking the Spell, Alister McGrath is pounding on an open door. Yes, of course, scientific ideas are memes and atheism is a meme. That’s not the point. The point is not to criticize anything by calling it a meme. On the contrary, it is to provide an explanatory basis. So, of course, psychologist and memeticist Susan Blackmore was right to say that atheism is a meme.
In reaching his narrative view of the self in Oneself as Another, Paul Ricoeur argues that, while literature offers revealing insights into the nature of the self, the sort of fictions involving brain transplants, fission, and so on, that philosophers often take seriously do not (and cannot). My paper is a response to Ricoeur's charge, contending that the arguments Ricoeur rejects are not flawed in the way he suggests, and that his own arguments are sometimes guilty of the very charges (...) he lays at the door of his opponents. (shrink)
Composition as identity is the strange and strangely compelling doctrine that the whole is in some sense identical to its parts. According to the most interesting and fun version, the one inspired by Donald Baxter (1988a,b), this is meant in the most straightforward way: a single whole is genuinely identical to its many parts, in the very same sense of identity, familiar to philosophers, logicians, and mathematicians, in which I am identical to myself and 2 + 2 is identical to (...) 4. Composition as identity implies the principle of Collapse: something is one of the X s iff it is part of the fusion of the X s. (Collapse is so-called because it in effect identifies mereologically equivalent pluralities.) In an earlier paper I pointed out that Collapse alters Boolos’s logic of plural quantification in various ways.1 Here I point out some further consequences of Collapse. For example, collapse implies that plural definite descriptions do not function normally. (As we will see, this undermines Kris McDaniel’s (2008) recent argument against composition as identity.) Also it opens the door to drastic—albeit unattractive— ideological simplifications: parthood, identity, and the plural quantifiers may all be eliminated. (shrink)
[p.225] Introduction (i) Although the following essay attempts to deal in a connected way with a number of connected conceptual tangles, it is by no means monolithic in design. It divides roughly in two, with the first half (Parts I and II) devoted to certain puzzles which have their source in a misunderstanding of the more specific structure of the language in which we describe and explain natural phenomena; while the second half (Parts III and IV) attempts to resolve the (...) more sweeping controversy over the nature of the connection between 'cause' and 'effect,' or, in modem dress, the logical status of 'lawlike statements.' (ii) The essay begins with a case analysis of a puzzle, taken from recent philosophical literature, relating to the analysis of counterfactual conditionals, statements of the form "If that lump of salt had been put in water, it would have dissolved." The diagnosis of this puzzle, which occupies the whole of Part I, shows it to rest on a misunderstanding of the conceptual framework in terms of which we speak of what things do when acted upon in certain ways in certain kinds of circumstance. Although the puzzle is initially posed in terms of examples taken from everyday life, the logical features of these examples which, misunderstood, generate the puzzle, are to be found in even the more theoretical levels of the language of science, and the puzzle is as much at home in the one place as in the other. For the framework in which things of various kinds (e.g. matches, white rats) behave ('respond') in various ways (catch fire, leap at a door) when acted upon ('submitted to such and such stimuli') under given conditions (presence of oxygen, 24 hours of food deprivation) is far more basic than the distinctions between metrical and non-metrical concepts, molar and micro-things, [p.226] observable and unobservable.. (shrink)
The most cursory examination of the history of artificial intelligence highlights numerous egregious claims of its researchers, especially in relation to a populist form of ‘strong’ computationalism which holds that any suitably programmed computer instantiates genuine conscious mental states purely in virtue of carrying out a specific series of computations. The argument presented herein is a simple development of that originally presented in Putnam’s (Representation & Reality, Bradford Books, Cambridge in 1988 ) monograph, “Representation & Reality”, which if correct, has (...) important implications for turing machine functionalism and the prospect of ‘conscious’ machines. In the paper, instead of seeking to develop Putnam’s claim that, “everything implements every finite state automata”, I will try to establish the weaker result that, “everything implements the specific machine Q on a particular input set ( x )”. Then, equating Q ( x ) to any putative AI program, I will show that conceding the ‘strong AI’ thesis for Q (crediting it with mental states and consciousness) opens the door to a vicious form of panpsychism whereby all open systems, (e.g. grass, rocks etc.), must instantiate conscious experience and hence that disembodied minds lurk everywhere. (shrink)
This paper examines connections between concepts of space and extension on the one hand and immaterial spirits on the other, specifically the immanentist concept of spirits as present in rerum natura. Those holding an immanentist concept, such as Thomas Aquinas, typically understood spirits non-dimensionally as present by essence and power; and that concept was historically linked to holenmerism, the doctrine that the spirit is whole in every part. Yet as Aristotelian ideas about extension were challenged and an actual, infinite, dimensional (...) space readmitted, a dimensionalist concept of spirit became possible—that asserted by the mature Henry More, as he repudiated holenmerism. Despite More’s intentions, his dimensionalist concept opens the door to materialism, for supposing that spirits have parts outside parts implies that those parts could in principle be mapped onto the parts of divisible bodies. The specter of materialism broadens our interest in More’s unconventional ideas, for the question of whether other early modern thinkers, including Isaac Newton, followed More becomes a question of whether they too unwittingly helped usher in materialism. This paper shows that More’s attack upon holenmerism fails. He illegitimately injects his dimensionalist concept of spirit into the doctrine, failing to recognize it as a consequence of the non-dimensionalist concept of spirit, which in itself secures indivisibility. The interpretive consequence for Newton is that there is no prima facie reason to suppose that the charitable interpretation takes him to deny holenmerism. (shrink)
In our paper, ‘Escaping hell: divine motivation and the problem of hell’, we defended a theory of hell that we called ‘escapism’. We argued that given God’s just and loving character it would be most rational for God to maintain an open door policy to those who are in hell, allowing them an unlimited number of chances to be reconciled with God and enjoy communion with God. In this paper we reply to two recent objections to our original paper. The (...) first is an argument from religious luck offered by Rusty Jones. The second is an argument from Kyle Swan that alleges that our commitments about the nature of reasons for action still leaves escapism vulnerable to an objection we labeled the ‘Job objection’ in our original paper. In this paper we argue that escapism has the resources built into it needed to withstand the objections from Jones and Swan. (shrink)
According to the so-called metaphysical conception of analyticity, analytic truths are true in virtue of meaning (or content) alone and independently of (extralinguistic) facts. Quine and Boghossian have tried to present a conclusive argument against the metaphysical conception of analyticity. In effect, they tried to show that the metaphysical conception inevitably leads into a highly implausible view about the truthmakers of analytic truths. We would like to show that their argument fails, since it relies on an ambiguity of the notion (...) of 'independence of (extralinguistic) facts'. If one distinguishes between variation independence and existence independence, the unwelcome view about the truthmakers of analytic truths no longer follows. Thus, there is at best a challenge, but no conclusive argument. The door to the metaphysical conception of analyticity is still open. (shrink)