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J. L. Dowell [13]J. L. Dowell [1]
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Profile: Janice, J.L. Dowell (Syracuse University)
  1. Aaron Bronfman & Janice Dowell, J. L., Contextualism About Deontic Conditionals.
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  2. Janice Dowell, J. L. (forthcoming). The Metaethical Insignificance of Moral Twin Earth. In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics. Oxford.
  3. Janice Dowell, J. L. & David Sobel (forthcoming). Advice for Non-Analytical Naturalists. In Simon Kirchin (ed.), Reading Parfit. Routledge.
    We argue that Parfit's "Triviality Objection" against some naturalistic views of normativity is not compelling. We think that once one accepts, as one should, that identity statements can be informative in virtue of their pragmatics and not only in virtue of their semantics, Parfit's case against naturalism can be overcome.
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  4. Janice Dowell, J. L. (2013). Flexible Contextualism About Deontic Modals: A Puzzle About Information-Sensitivity. Inquiry 56 (2-3):149-178.
    According to a recent challenge to Kratzer's canonical contextualist semantics for deontic modal expressions, no contextualist view can make sense of cases in which such a modal must be information-sensitive in some way. Here I show how Kratzer's semantics is compatible with readings of the targeted sentences that fit with the data. I then outline a general account of how contexts select parameter values for modal expressions and show, in terms of that account, how the needed, contextualist-friendly readings might plausibly (...)
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  5. Janice Dowell, J. L. (2012). Contextualist Solutions to Three Puzzles About Practical Conditionals. In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics, volume 7. Oxford.
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  6. Janice Dowell, J. L. (2011). A Flexible Contextualist Account of Epistemic Modals. Philosophers' Imprint 11 (14):1-25.
    On Kratzer’s canonical account, modal expressions (like “might” and “must”) are represented semantically as quantifiers over possibilities. Such expressions are themselves neutral; they make a single contribution to determining the propositions expressed across a wide range of uses. What modulates the modality of the proposition expressed—as bouletic, epistemic, deontic, etc.—is context.2 This ain’t the canon for nothing. Its power lies in its ability to figure in a simple and highly unified explanation of a fairly wide range of language use. Recently, (...)
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  7. Janice Dowell, J. L. (2008). A Priori Entailment and Conceptual Analysis: Making Room for Type-C Physicalism. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 86 (1):93 – 111.
    One strategy for blocking Chalmers's overall case against physicalism has been to deny his claim that showing that phenomenal properties are in some sense physical requires an a priori entailment of the phenomenal truths from the physical ones. Here I avoid this well-trodden ground and argue instead that an a priori entailment of the phenomenal truths from the physical ones does not require an analysis in the Jackson/Chalmers sense. This is to sever the dualist's link between conceptual analysis and a (...)
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  8. Janice Dowell, J. L. (2008). Empirical Metaphysics: The Role of Intuitions About Possible Cases in Philosophy. [REVIEW] Philosophical Studies 140 (1):19 - 46.
    Frank Jackson has argued that only if we have a priori knowledge of the extension-fixers for many of our terms can we vindicate the methodological practice of relying on intuitions to decide between philosophical theories. While there has been much discussion of Jackson's claim that we have such knowledge, there has been comparatively little discussion of this most powerful argument for that claim. Here I defend an alternative explanation of our intuitions about possible cases, one that does not rely on (...)
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  9. Janice Dowell, J. L. (2008). Serious Metaphysics and the Vindication of Reductions. Philosophical Studies 139 (1):91 - 110.
    What would be sufficient to show of some apparently higher-level property that it is ‘nothing over and above’ some complex configuration of more basic properties? This paper defends a new method for justifying reductions by demonstrating its comparative advantages over two methods recently defended in the literature. Unlike its rivals, what I’ll call “the semantic method” makes a reduction’s truth epistemically transparent without relying on conceptual analyses.
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  10. Janice Dowell, J. L. (2006). Formulating the Thesis of Physicalism. Philosophical Studies 131 (1):1-23.
    Perhaps more controversial than whether physicalism is true is what exactly would have to be true for physicalism to be true. Everyone agrees that, intuitively at least, physicalism is the thesis that there is nothing over and above the physical. The disagreements arise in how to get beyond this intuitive formulation. Until about ten years ago, participants in this debate were concerned primarily with answering two questions. First, what is it for a property, kind, relation, or individual to be a (...)
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  11. Janice Dowell, J. L. (2006). Making It Totally Explicit. Philosophical Papers 35 (2):137-170.
    This paper begins by isolating the reductive component of Brandom's inferentialism. In order to assess to what extent that reductive component is supported by the considerations Brandom marshals in its defense, I assess the comparative degree of support those considerations provide a non-reductive counterpart of Brandom's original, reductive theory. One of the central claims here is that once the reductive and non-reductive theories are placed side-by-side, it is clear that, save one, all of the considerations Brandom marshals in defense of (...)
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  12. Janice Dowell, J. L. (2006). The Physical: Empirical, Not Metaphysical. Philosophical Studies 131 (1):25-60.
    2. The Contingency and A posteriority Constraint: A formulation of the thesis must make physicalism come out contingent and a posteriori. First, physicalism is a contingent truth, if it is a truth. This means that physicalism could have been false, i.e. there are counterfactual worlds in which physicalism is false, for example, counterfactual worlds in which there are <span class='Hi'>miracle</span>-performing angels.[9] Moreover, if physicalism is true, our knowledge of its truth is a posteriori. This is to say that there are (...)
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  13. E. Corazza, H. Douglas, J. L. Dowell, J. Franklin, A. S. Gillies, S. C. Goldberg, D. K. Heikes, C. Liu, C. Ortiz Hill & M. W. Pelczar (2004). Cling, AD, 101. Synthese 137 (477).
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  14. Janice Dowell, J. L. (2004). From Metaphysical to Substantive Naturalism: A Case Study. Synthese 138 (2):149-173.
    This paper addresses two related questions. First, what is involved in giving a distinctively realist and naturalist construal of an area of discourse, that is, in so much as stating a distinctively realist and naturalist position about, for example, content or value? I defend a condition that guarantees the realism and naturalism of any position satisfying it, at least in the case of positions on content, but perhaps in other cases as well. Second, what sorts of considerations render a distinctively (...)
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