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Profile: John Burgess (Princeton University)
  1.  230 DLs
    John P. Burgess (2007). Against Ethics. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 10 (5):427 - 439.
    This is the verbatim manuscript of a paper which has circulated underground for close to thirty years, reaching a metethical conclusion close to J. L. Mackie’s by a somewhat different route.
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  2.  131 DLs
    John P. Burgess & Gideon A. Rosen (1997). A Subject with No Object: Strategies for Nominalistic Interpretation of Mathematics. Oxford University Press.
    Numbers and other mathematical objects are exceptional in having no locations in space or time or relations of cause and effect. This makes it difficult to account for the possibility of the knowledge of such objects, leading many philosophers to embrace nominalism, the doctrine that there are no such objects, and to embark on ambitious projects for interpreting mathematics so as to preserve the subject while eliminating its objects. This book cuts through a host of technicalities that have obscured previous (...)
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  3.  115 DLs
    John P. Burgess (2004). Mathematics and Bleak House. Philosophia Mathematica 12 (1):18-36.
    The form of nominalism known as 'mathematical fictionalism' is examined and found wanting, mainly on grounds that go back to an early antinominalist work of Rudolf Carnap that has unfortunately not been paid sufficient attention by more recent writers.
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  4.  109 DLs
    John P. Burgess (2004). Quine, Analyticity and Philosophy of Mathematics. Philosophical Quarterly 54 (214):38–55.
    Quine correctly argues that Carnap's distinction between internal and external questions rests on a distinction between analytic and synthetic, which Quine rejects. I argue that Quine needs something like Carnap's distinction to enable him to explain the obviousness of elementary mathematics, while at the same time continuing to maintain as he does that the ultimate ground for holding mathematics to be a body of truths lies in the contribution that mathematics makes to our overall scientific theory of the world. Quine's (...)
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  5.  94 DLs
    John P. Burgess (2011). The Development of Modern Logic. History and Philosophy of Logic 32 (2):187 - 191.
    History and Philosophy of Logic, Volume 32, Issue 2, Page 187-191, May 2011.
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  6.  88 DLs
    John P. Burgess (forthcoming). Book Review: Text and Psyche: Experiencing Scripture Today. [REVIEW] Interpretation 53 (4):430-431.
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  7.  88 DLs
    John P. Burgess, Friedman and the Axiomatization of Kripke's Theory of Truth.
    What is the simplest and most natural axiomatic replacement for the set-theoretic definition of the minimal fixed point on the Kleene scheme in Kripke’s theory of truth? What is the simplest and most natural set of axioms and rules for truth whose adoption by a subject who had never heard the word "true" before would give that subject an understanding of truth for which the minimal fixed point on the Kleene scheme would be a good model? Several axiomatic systems, old (...)
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  8.  86 DLs
    George Boolos, John Burgess, Richard P. & C. Jeffrey (2007). Computability and Logic. Cambridge University Press.
    Computability and Logic has become a classic because of its accessibility to students without a mathematical background and because it covers not simply the staple topics of an intermediate logic course, such as Godel’s incompleteness theorems, but also a large number of optional topics, from Turing’s theory of computability to Ramsey’s theorem. Including a selection of exercises, adjusted for this edition, at the end of each chapter, it offers a new and simpler treatment of the representability of recursive functions, a (...)
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  9.  84 DLs
    J. P. Burgess (2011). Alan Weir. Truth Through Proof: A Formalist Foundation for Mathematics. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2010. ISBN 978-0-19-954149-2. Pp. Xiv+281. [REVIEW] Philosophia Mathematica 19 (2):213-219.
    Alan Weir’s new book is, like Darwin’s Origin of Species, ‘one long argument’. The author has devised a new kind of have-it-both-ways philosophy of mathematics, supposed to allow him to say out of one side of his mouth that the integer 1,000,000 exists and even that the cardinal ℵω exists, while saying out of the other side of his mouth that no numbers exist at all, and the whole book is devoted to an exposition and defense of this new view. (...)
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  10.  81 DLs
    John P. Burgess (forthcoming). Book Review: Reading the Bible with the Dead: What You Can Learn From the History of Exegesis That You Can't Learn From Exegesis Alone. [REVIEW] Interpretation 62 (3):332-332.
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  11.  78 DLs
    John P. Burgess (2004). E Pluribus Unum: Plural Logic and Set Theory. Philosophia Mathematica 12 (3):193-221.
    A new axiomatization of set theory, to be called Bernays-Boolos set theory, is introduced. Its background logic is the plural logic of Boolos, and its only positive set-theoretic existence axiom is a reflection principle of Bernays. It is a very simple system of axioms sufficient to obtain the usual axioms of ZFC, plus some large cardinals, and to reduce every question of plural logic to a question of set theory.
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  12.  75 DLs
    John Burgess (2010). Could a Zygote Be a Human Being? Bioethics 24 (2):61-70.
    This paper re-examines the question of whether quirks of early human foetal development tell against the view (conceptionism) that we are human beings at conception. A zygote is capable of splitting to give rise to identical twins. Since the zygote cannot be identical with either human being it will become, it cannot already be a human being. Parallel concerns can be raised about chimeras in which two embryos fuse. I argue first that there are just two ways of dealing with (...)
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  13.  74 DLs
    J. A. Burgess (1989). Vague Identity: Evans Misrepresented. Analysis 49 (3):112 - 119.
    In 'Vague Identity: Evans Misunderstood' David Lewis defends Gareth Evans against a widespread misunderstanding of an argument that appeared in his article 'Can There be Vague Objects?'. Lewis takes himself to be 'defending Evans' and not just correcting a mistake; witness his remark that, 'As misunderstood, Evans is a pitiful figure: a "technical philosopher" out of control of his technicalities, taken in by a fallacious proof of an absurd conclusion'. Let me say at the outset that I take Lewis to (...)
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  14.  73 DLs
    J. A. Burgess (1990). The Sorites Paradox and Higher-Order Vagueness. Synthese 85 (3):417-474.
    One thousand stones, suitably arranged, might form a heap. If we remove a single stone from a heap of stones we still have a heap; at no point will the removal of just one stone make sufficient difference to transform a heap into something which is not a heap. But, if this is so, we still have a heap, even when we have removed the last stone composing our original structure. So runs the Sorites paradox. Similar paradoxes can be constructed (...)
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  15.  69 DLs
    John P. Burgess (2008). Charles Parsons. Mathematical Thought and its Objects. Philosophia Mathematica 16 (3):402-409.
    This long-awaited volume is a must-read for anyone with a serious interest in philosophy of mathematics. The book falls into two parts, with the primary focus of the first on ontology and structuralism, and the second on intuition and epistemology, though with many links between them. The style throughout involves unhurried examination from several points of view of each issue addressed, before reaching a guarded conclusion. A wealth of material is set before the reader along the way, but a reviewer (...)
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  16.  69 DLs
    John P. Burgess (forthcoming). Book Review: The Word of God for the People of God: An Entryway to the Theological Interpretation of Scripture. [REVIEW] Interpretation 65 (3):328-329.
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  17.  69 DLs
    J. A. Burgess (1997). What is Minimalism About Truth? Analysis 57 (4):259–267.
  18.  68 DLs
    John P. Burgess (2005). Being Explained Away. The Harvard Review of Philosophy 13 (2):41-56.
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  19.  67 DLs
    J. A. Burgess (2008). When is Circularity in Definitions Benign? Philosophical Quarterly 58 (231):214–233.
    I aim to show how and why some definitions can be benignly circular. According to Lloyd Humberstone, a definition that is analytically circular need not be inferentially circular and so might serve to illuminate the application-conditions for a concept. I begin by tidying up some problems with Humberstone's account. I then show that circular definitions of a kind commonly thought to be benign have inferentially circular truth-conditions and so are malign by Humberstone's test. But his test is too demanding. The (...)
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  20.  67 DLs
    John P. Burgess, Putting Structuralism in its Place.
    One textbook may introduce the real numbers in Cantor’s way, and another in Dedekind’s, and the mathematical community as a whole will be completely indifferent to the choice between the two. This sort of phenomenon was famously called to the attention of philosophers by Paul Benacerraf. It will be argued that structuralism in philosophy of mathematics is a mistake, a generalization of Benacerraf’s observation in the wrong direction, resulting from philosophers’ preoccupation with ontology.
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  21.  67 DLs
    J. A. Burgess & Adrian Walsh (1998). Is Genetic Engineering Wrong, Per Se? Journal of Value Inquiry 32 (3):393-406.
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  22.  66 DLs
    John P. Burgess (2013). On a Derivation of the Necessity of Identity. Synthese:1-19.
    The source, status, and significance of the derivation of the necessity of identity at the beginning of Kripke’s lecture “Identity and Necessity” is discussed from a logical, philosophical, and historical point of view.
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  23.  63 DLs
    J. P. Burgess (2010). Mary Leng. Mathematics and Reality. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010. ISBN 978-0-19-928079-7. Pp. X + 278. Philosophia Mathematica 18 (3):337-344.
    (No abstract is available for this citation).
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  24.  62 DLs
    J. A. Burgess (1990). Vague Objects and Indefinite Identity. Philosophical Studies 59 (3):263 - 287.
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  25.  58 DLs
    John P. Burgess (2005). Translating Names. Analysis 65 (287):196–205.
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  26.  57 DLs
    John P. Burgess (2000). Critical Studies / Book Reviews. Philosophia Mathematica 8 (1):84-91.
  27.  55 DLs
    J. A. Burgess (1993). The Great Slippery-Slope Argument. Journal of Medical Ethics 19 (3):169-174.
    Whenever some form of beneficent killing--for example, voluntary euthanasia--is advocated, the proposal is greeted with a flood of slippery-slope arguments warning of the dangers of a Nazi-style slide into genocide. This paper is an attempt systematically to evaluate arguments of this kind. Although there are slippery-slope arguments that are sound and convincing, typical formulations of the Nazi-invoking argument are found to be seriously deficient both in logical rigour and in the social history and psychology required as a scholarly underpinning. As (...)
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  28.  52 DLs
    J. Burgess (2001). Vagueness, Epistemicism and Response-Dependence. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 79 (4):507 – 524.
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  29.  49 DLs
    John P. Burgess (forthcoming). Book Review: The Ten Commandments: A Preaching Commentary. [REVIEW] Interpretation 57 (4):452-452.
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  30.  47 DLs
    J. A. Burgess (2011). Ten Moral Paradoxes * by Saul Smilansky. Analysis 71 (3):603-605.
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  31.  46 DLs
    John P. Burgess (1983). Why I Am Not a Nominalist. Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 24 (1):93-105.
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  32.  46 DLs
    J. A. Burgess (2010). Review of J.C. Beall and Greg Restall, Logical Pluralism. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (2):519-522.
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  33.  43 DLs
    John P. Burgess (1986). The Truth is Never Simple. Journal of Symbolic Logic 51 (3):663-681.
    The complexity of the set of truths of arithmetic is determined for various theories of truth deriving from Kripke and from Gupta and Herzberger.
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  34.  42 DLs
    John P. Burgess (2009). Philosophical Logic. Princeton University Press.
    Classical logic -- Temporal logic -- Modal logic -- Conditional logic -- Relevantistic logic -- Intuitionistic logic.
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  35.  40 DLs
    John P. Burgess (1984). Dummett's Case for Intuitionism. History and Philosophy of Logic 5 (2):177-194.
    Dummett's case against platonism rests on arguments concerning the acquisition and manifestation of knowledge of meaning. Dummett's arguments are here criticized from a viewpoint less Davidsonian than Chomskian. Dummett's case against formalism is obscure because in its prescriptive considerations are not clearly separated from descriptive. Dummett's implicit value judgments are here made explicit and questioned. ?Combat Revisionism!? Chairman Mao.
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  36.  40 DLs
    John P. Burgess (2011). Kripke Models. In Alan Berger (ed.), Saul Kripke. Cambridge University Press
    Saul Kripke has made fundamental contributions to a variety of areas of logic, and his name is attached to a corresponding variety of objects and results. 1 For philosophers, by far the most important examples are ‘Kripke models’, which have been adopted as the standard type of models for modal and related non-classical logics. What follows is an elementary introduction to Kripke’s contributions in this area, intended to prepare the reader to tackle more formal treatments elsewhere.2 2. WHAT IS A (...)
     
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  37.  38 DLs
    John P. Burgess (1978). The Unreal Future. Theoria 44 (3):157-179.
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  38.  37 DLs
    John P. Burgess (2008). 3. Cats, Dogs, and so On. In Dean W. Zimmerman (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics. Oxford University Press 4--56.
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  39.  36 DLs
    John P. Burgess (2014). New Foundations for Physical Geometry: The Theory of Linear Structures, by Tim Maudlin. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (1):187-190.
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  40.  35 DLs
    J. A. Burgess (2010). Potential and Foetal Value. Journal of Applied Philosophy 27 (2):140-153.
    The argument from potential has been hard to assess because the versions presented by friends and those presented by enemies have born very little resemblance to each other. I here try to improve this situation by attempting to bring both versions into enforced contact. To this end, I sketch a more detailed analysis of the modern concept of potential than any hitherto attempted. As one would expect, arguments from potential couched in terms of that notion are evident non-starters. I then (...)
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  41.  35 DLs
    John A. Burgess (1998). Error Theories and Values. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 76 (4):534 – 552.
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  42.  35 DLs
    John P. Burgess (1999). Which Modal Logic Is the Right One? Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 40 (1):81-93.
    The question, "Which modal logic is the right one for logical necessity?," divides into two questions, one about model-theoretic validity, the other about proof-theoretic demonstrability. The arguments of Halldén and others that the right validity argument is S5, and the right demonstrability logic includes S4, are reviewed, and certain common objections are argued to be fallacious. A new argument, based on work of Supecki and Bryll, is presented for the claim that the right demonstrability logic must be contained in S5, (...)
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  43.  34 DLs
    John P. Burgess (1996). Marcus, Kripke, and Names. Philosophical Studies 84 (1):1 - 47.
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  44.  34 DLs
    John Burgess, Tarski's Tort.
    A revision of a sermon on the evils of calling model theory “semantics”, preached at Notre Dame on Saint Patrick’s Day, 2005. Provisional version: references remain to be added. To appear in Mathematics, Modality, and Models: Selected Philosophical Papers, coming from Cambridge University Press.
     
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  45.  33 DLs
    John A. Burgess (1990). Phenomenal Qualities and the Nontransitivity of Matching. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 68 (2):206-220.
  46.  32 DLs
    John P. Burgess (1981). Quick Completeness Proofs for Some Logics of Conditionals. Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 22 (1):76-84.
  47.  31 DLs
    John P. Burgess (2005). Charles S. Chihara. A Structural Account of Mathematics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004. Pp. XIV + 380. ISBN 0-19-926753-. [REVIEW] Philosophia Mathematica 13 (1):78-90.
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  48.  31 DLs
    John P. Burgess (2010). Review of B. Hale and A. Hoffmann (Eds.), Modality: Metaphysics, Logic, and Epistemology. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2010 (10).
  49.  30 DLs
    John Burgess (2010). On the Outside Looking in : A Caution About Conservativeness. In Kurt Gödel, Solomon Feferman, Charles Parsons & Stephen G. Simpson (eds.), Kurt Gödel: Essays for His Centennial. Association for Symbolic Logic
    My contribution to the symposium on Goedel’s philosophy of mathematics at the spring 2006 Association for Symbolic Logic meeting in Montreal. Provisional version: references remain to be added. To appear in an ASL volume of proceedings of the Goedel sessions at that meeting.
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  50.  28 DLs
    John P. Burgess (1979). Logic and Time. Journal of Symbolic Logic 44 (4):566-582.
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