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John R. Williams [48]John Williams [35]John N. Williams [32]J. Robert G. Williams [26]
James Williams [24]J. Williams [15]J. R. G. Williams [14]Jeffrey J. Williams [8]

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See also:
Profile: Joseph Williams (Indiana University, Bloomington)
Profile: Julie Williams (Oklahoma Baptist University)
Profile: Jared Williams Williams (University of Houston)
Profile: Jess Williams (Keele University)
Profile: Jeremy Williams (University of Birmingham)
Profile: Jennie Williams (Mahidol University)
  1. Heather Roberts & John Williams, Chapter 5 Constitutional Law.
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  2. J. R. G. Williams, Counterepistemic Indicative Conditionals and Probability.
    Two major themes in the literature on indicative conditionals are (1) that the content of indicative conditionals typically depends on what is known;1 (2) that conditionals are intimately related to conditional probabilities.2 In possible world semantics for counterfactual conditionals, a standard assumption is that conditionals whose antecedents are metaphysically impossible are vacuously true.3 This aspect has recently been brought to the fore, and defended by Tim Williamson, who uses it in to characterize alethic necessity by exploiting such equivalences as: A⇔¬A (...)
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  3. J. R. G. Williams, Lewis on Reference and Eligibility.
    This paper outlines Lewis’s favoured foundational account of linguistic representation, and outlines and briefly evaluates variations and modifications. Section 1 gives an opinionated exegesis of Lewis’ work on the foundations of reference—his interpretationism. I look at the way that the metaphysical distinction between natural and non-natural properties came to play a central role in his thinking about language. Lewis’s own deployment of this notion has implausible commitments, so in section 2 I consider variations and alternatives. Section 3 briefly considers a (...)
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  4. J. Robert G. Williams, Incomplete Fictions and Imagination.
    Some things are left open by a work of fiction. What colour were the hero’s eyes? How many hairs are on her head? Did the hero get shot in the final scene, or did the jailor complete his journey to redemption and shoot into the air? Are the ghosts that appear real, or a delusion? Where fictions are open or incomplete in this way, we can ask what attitudes it’s appropriate (or permissible) to take to the propositions in question, in (...)
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  5. John Williams, Defining the 'Social' in 'Social Entrepreneurship': Altruism and Entrepreneurship.
    What is social entrepreneurship? In, particular, what’s so social about it? Understanding what social entrepreneurship is enables researchers to study the phenomenon and policy-makers to design measures to encourage it. However, such an understanding is lacking partly because there is no universally accepted definition of entrepreneurship as yet. In this paper, we suggest a definition of social entrepreneurship that intuitively accords with what is generally accepted as entrepreneurship and that captures the way in which entrepreneurship may be altruistic. Based on (...)
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  6. John Williams, In Defence of an Argument for Evans's Principle 167.
    In this case (5) yields the result that A and D are I-related, but neither is I-related to B or C – the original person has two beginnings of existence. To get round this we need to add to (5)’s right-hand side the condition that there is no pair of distinct, simultaneously occurring person-stages u and v such that u is R-related to x and y and v is R-related to x and no pair of distinct, simultaneously occurring personstages u (...)
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  7. John Williams, Orwell and Huxley: Making Dissent Unthinkable.
    Neither novel should be read as predictions, the accuracy of which can be used to judge them. Rather, both attempt to portray what humanity could conceivably become. The authenticity of this conceivability is a necessary condition of the power of both works to raise central philosophical questions about the human condition. What is ethically wrong with control? How far can Man go in recreating himself? In what sense are these worlds anti-utopian? Are they really possible worlds? How credible are they (...)
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  8. John Williams, The Ethics of Placebo-Controlled Trials in Developing Countries to Prevent Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV.
    Placebo-trials on HIV-infected pregnant women in developing countries like Thailand and Uganda have provoked recent controversy. Such experiments aim to find a treatment that will cut the rate of vertical transmission more efficiently than existing treatments like zidovudine. This scenario is first stated as generally as possible, before three ethical principles found in the Belmont Report, itself a sharpening of the Helsinki Declaration, are stated. These three principles are the Principle of Utility, the Principle of Autonomy and the Principle of (...)
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  9. John N. Williams, Moore's Paradox, Defective Interpretation, Justified Belief and Conscious Belieftheo_1073 221..248.
    In this journal, Hamid Vahid argues against three families of explanation of Mooreparadoxicality. The first is the Wittgensteinian approach; I assert that p just in case I assert that I believe that p. So making a Moore-paradoxical assertion involves contradictory assertions. The second is the epistemic approach, one committed to: if I am justified in believing that p then I am justified in believing that I believe that p. So it is impossible to have a justified omissive Mooreparadoxical belief. The (...)
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  10. Jrg Williams, Perdurantist Framework.
    Conc 2: Charitable reconstructions are available. Conc 3: But these lead to worrying results. (POM) Conc 4: Further weakening prevents it from playing the “survival is intrinsic” role in fission arguments.
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  11. Jrg Williams, Reference Magnets.
    such light matter as you fancy, or the work of light or chance persons; and Cratylus is right in thinking that things have names by nature, and that not every man is an artificer of names, but he only who looks to the name which each thing by nature.
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  12. J. R. G. Williams, Reference Magnetism and the Reduction of Reference.
    Some things, argues Lewis, are just better candidates to be referents than others. Even at the cost of attributing false beliefs, we interpret people as referring to the most interesting kinds in their vicinity. How should this be accounted for? In section 1, I look at Lewis’s interpretationism, and the reference magnetism it builds in (not just for ‘perfectly natural’ properties, but for certain kinds of auxiliary apparatus). In section 2, I draw on (Field, 1975) to argue that what properties (...)
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  13. J. R. G. Williams, Vagueness.
    Taking away grains from a heap of rice, at what point is there no longer a heap? It seems small changes – removing a single grain – can’t make a difference to whether or not something is a heap; but big changes obviously do. How can this be, since big changes are nothing but small changes chained together?
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  14. J. Robert G. Williams, A Lewis-Impossibility Result for Counterfactuals.
    I formulate a counterfactual version of the notorious ‘Ramsey Test’. Even in a weak form, this makes counterfactuals subject to the very argument that Lewis used to persuade the majority of the philosophical community that indicative conditionals were in hot water. I outline two reactions: to indicativize the debate on counterfactuals; or to counterfactualize the debate on indicatives.
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  15. J. Robert G. Williams, Chancy Counterfactuals, Redux: Response to Dodd.
    Chancy counterfactuals are a headache. Dylan Dodd (2009) presents an interesting argument against a certain general strategy for accounting for them, instances of which are found in the appendices to Lewis (1979) and in Williams (2008). I will argue (i) that Dodd’s understates the counterintuitiveness of the conclusions he can reach; (ii) that the counterintuitiveness can be thought of as an instance of more general oddities arising when we treat vagueness and indeterminacy in a classical setting; and (iii) the underlying (...)
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  16. J. Robert G. Williams, Counterfactual Desire as Belief.
    Bryne & H´ajek (1997) argue that Lewis’s (1988; 1996) objections to identifying desire with belief do not go through if our notion of desire is ‘causalized’ (characterized by causal, rather than evidential, decision theory). I argue that versions of the argument go through on certain assumptions about the formulation of decision theory. There is one version of causal decision theory where the original arguments cannot be formulated—the ‘imaging’ formulation that Joyce (1999) advocates. But I argue this formulation is independently objectionable. (...)
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  17. J. Robert G. Williams, Dutch Books and Accuracy Domination.
    Jeff Paris (2001) proves a generalized Dutch Book theorem. If a belief state is not a generalized probability (a kind of probability appropriate for generalized distributions of truth-values) then one faces ‘sure loss’ books of bets. In Williams (manuscript) I showed that Joyce’s (1998) accuracy-domination theorem applies to the same set of generalized probabilities. What is the relationship between these two results? This note shows that (when ‘accuracy’ is treated via the Brier Score) both results are easy corollaries of the (...)
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  18. J. Robert G. Williams, Requirements on Reality.
    There are advantages to thrift over honest toil. If we can make do without numbers we avoid challenging questions over the metaphysics and epistemology of such entities; and we have a good idea, I think, of what a nominalistic metaphysics should look like. But minimizing ontology brings its own problems; for it seems to lead to error theory— saying that large swathes of common-sense and best science are false. Should recherche philosophical arguments really convince us to give all this up? (...)
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  19. J. Robert G. Williams, Supposition and Desire in a Non-Classical Setting.
    Revising semantics and logic has consequences for the theory of mind. Standard formal treatments of rational belief and desire make classical assumptions. If we are to challenge the presuppositions, we indicate what is kind of theory is going to take their place. Consider probability theory interpreted as an account of ideal partial belief. But if some propositions are neither true nor false, or are half true, or whatever—then it’s far from clear that our degrees of belief in it and its (...)
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  20. J. Robert G. Williams, Tenable Conditionals.
    When should we believe a indicative conditional, and how much confidence in it should we have? Here’s one proposal: one supposes actual the antecedent; and sees under that supposition what credence attaches to the consequent. Thus we suppose that Oswald did not shot Kennedy; and note that under this assumption, Kennedy was assassinated by someone other than Oswald. Thus we are highly confident in the indicative: if Oswald did not kill Kennedy, someone else did.
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  21. John Williams (manuscript). The Surprise Exam Paradox: Disentangling Two Reductios. Philosophical Explorations:67-94.
    One tradition of solving the surprise exam paradox, started by Robert Binkley and continued by Doris Olin, Roy Sorensen and Jelle Gerbrandy, construes surpriseepistemically and relies upon the oddity of propositions akin to G. E. Moore’s paradoxical ‘p and I don’t believe that p.’ Here I argue for an analysis that evolves from Olin’s. My analysis is different from hers or indeed any of those in the tradition because it explicitly recognizes that there are two distinct reductios at work in (...)
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  22. Jrg Williams, (Second) Draft.
    Why care about being logical? Why criticize people for inconsistency? Must we simply take the normative significance of logic as brute, or can we explain it in terms of goals on which we have an independent grip: the merits of true (or knowledgeable) belief, for example? This paper explores Jim Joyce’s argument for probabilism in this light---arguing that it provides a plausible route for explaining the value of consistency.
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  23. Jrg Williams, Vagueness in the World: Metaphysical and Conceptual Issues.
     Nature: What indefiniteness is.  Logic: How to reason in the presence of indefiniteness  Mind: How indefiniteness fits into our cognitive life.
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  24. John R. Williams (forthcoming). When Suffering is Unbearable: Physicians, Assisted Suicide, and Euthanasia. Journal of Palliative Care.
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  25. John R. Williams, Dominique Sprumont, Marie Hirtle, Clement Adebamowo, Paul Braunschweiger, Susan Bull, Christian Burri, Marek Czarkowski, Chien Te Fan & Caroline Franck (forthcoming). Consensus Standards for Introductory E-Learning Courses in Human Participants Research Ethics. Journal of Medical Ethics.
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  26. J. R. Williams, D. Sprumont, M. Hirtle, C. Adebamowo, P. Braunschweiger, S. Bull, C. Burri, M. Czarkowski, C. T. Fan, C. Franck, E. Gefenas, A. Geissbuhler, I. Klingmann, B. Kouyate, J. -P. Kraehenbhul, M. Kruger, K. Moodley, F. Ntoumi, T. Nyirenda, A. Pym, H. Silverman & S. Tenorio (2014). Consensus Standards for Introductory E-Learning Courses in Human Participants Research Ethics. Journal of Medical Ethics 40 (6):426-428.
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  27. J. Robert G. Williams (2014). Decision-Making Under Indeterminacy. Philosophers' Imprint 14 (4).
    Decisions are made under uncertainty when there are distinct outcomes of a given action, and one is uncertain to which the act will lead. Decisions are made under indeterminacy when there are distinct outcomes of a given action, and it is indeterminate to which the act will lead. This paper develops a theory of (synchronic and diachronic) decision-making under indeterminacy that portrays the rational response to such situations as inconstant. Rational agents have to capriciously and randomly choose how to resolve (...)
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  28. James G. Williams (2014). Dialogue on Sacrifice and Orthodoxy: Reflections on the Schwager-Girard Correspondence. Contagion: Journal of Violence, Mimesis, and Culture 21 (1):47-54.
    My friendship with René Girard and Raymund Schwager has been of utmost significance for my life and work; therefore it is an honor to share some of my reflections on their correspondence. I should point out that I know René Girard much better than I knew Raymund Schwager. I first met Girard in 1987, and I have been with him many times in the classroom, in seminars, in his home, and on the telephone. However, I do feel that in 1991 (...)
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  29. John N. Williams (2014). Moore's Paradox in Belief and Desire. Acta Analytica 29 (1):1-23.
    Is there a Moore’s paradox in desire? I give a normative explanation of the epistemic irrationality, and hence absurdity, of Moorean belief that builds on Green and Williams’ normative account of absurdity. This explains why Moorean beliefs are normally irrational and thus absurd, while some Moorean beliefs are absurd without being irrational. Then I defend constructing a Moorean desire as the syntactic counterpart of a Moorean belief and distinguish it from a ‘Frankfurt’ conjunction of desires. Next I discuss putative examples (...)
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  30. John R. Williams (2014). Tradition, Rationality, and Virtue: The Thought of Alasdair MacIntyre. By Thomas D. D'Andrea. Pp. Xviii, 486, Aldershot, Hampshire, Ashgate, 2006, £60.00/$99.95. [REVIEW] Heythrop Journal 55 (1):147-148.
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  31. Jacques Derrida, Jay Williams & Françoise Meltzer (2013). Signature Derrida. University of Chicago Press.
  32. Suelyn Ching Tune, Julie Stewart Williams, Susan Nunes, Vivian L. Thompson, Aldyth Morris, Lu Xun, William A. Lyell, Gary Pak, Margaret K. Pai & Uno Chiyo (2013). Maui and the Secret of Fire. Philosophy East and West 63 (2).
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  33. J. Robert G. Williams (2013). Part‐Intrinsicality. Noûs 47 (3):431-452.
    In some sense, survival seems to be an intrinsic matter. Whether or not you survive some event seems to depend on what goes on with you yourself —what happens in the environment shouldn’t make a difference. Likewise, being a person at a time seems intrinsic. The principle that survival seems intrinsic is one factor which makes personal fission puzzles so awkward. Fission scenarios present cases where if survival is an intrinsic matter, it appears that an individual could survive twice over. (...)
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  34. Jeffrey J. Williams (2013). IThe Little Magazine and the Theory Journal: A Response to Evan Kindley's “Big Criticism”. Critical Inquiry 39 (2):402-411.
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  35. John Williams, David-Hillel Ruben's 'Traditions and True Successors': A Critical Reply.
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  36. John Williams, Eliminativism, Williams' Principle and Evans' Principle.
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  37. John Williams, Further Reflection on True Successors and Traditions.
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  38. John N. Williams (2013). Eliminativism, Dialetheism and Moore's Paradox. Theoria 80 (4):n/a-n/a.
    John Turri gives an example that he thinks refutes what he takes to be “G. E. Moore's view” that omissive assertions such as “It is raining but I do not believe that it is raining” are “inherently ‘absurd'”. This is that of Ellie, an eliminativist who makes such assertions. Turri thinks that these are perfectly reasonable and not even absurd. Nor does she seem irrational if the sincerity of her assertion requires her to believe its content. A commissive counterpart of (...)
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  39. John N. Williams (2013). Moore's Paradox and the Priority of Belief Thesis. Philosophical Studies 165 (3):1117-1138.
    Moore’s paradox is the fact that assertions or beliefs such asBangkok is the capital of Thailand but I do not believe that Bangkok is the capital of Thailand or Bangkok is the capital of Thailand but I believe that Bangkok is not the capital of Thailandare ‘absurd’ yet possibly true. The current orthodoxy is that an explanation of the absurdity should first start with belief, on the assumption that once the absurdity in belief has been explained then this will translate (...)
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  40. John N. Williams (2013). The Completeness of the Pragmatic Solution to Moore's Paradox in Belief: A Reply to Chan. Synthese 190 (12):2457-2476.
    Moore’s paradox in belief is the fact that beliefs of the form ‘ p and I do not believe that p ’ are ‘absurd’ yet possibly true. Writers on the paradox have nearly all taken the absurdity to be a form of irrationality. These include those who give what Timothy Chan calls the ‘pragmatic solution’ to the paradox. This solution turns on the fact that having the Moorean belief falsifies its content. Chan, who also takes the absurdity to be a (...)
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  41. John R. Williams (2013). Placing Nature on the Borders of Religion, Philosophy and Ethics (Transcending Boundaries in Philosophy and Theology). Edited by Forrest Clingerman and Mark H. Dixon . Pp. Xiv, 224, Farnham, Surrey, Ashgate, 2011, £50.00. Turning Images in Philosophy, Science, & Religion: A New Book of Nature. Edited by Charles Taliaferro and Jil Evans . Pp. Xii, 256, Oxford University Press, 2011, £30.00/$50.00. The Singing Heart of the World: Creation, Evolution and Faith. By John Feehan. Pp. 204, Dublin, Columba Press, 2010, €14.99/£12.99. [REVIEW] Heythrop Journal 54 (4):706-708.
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  42. John R. Williams (2013). Religious Liberties: Anti‐Catholicism and Liberal Democracy in Nineteenth‐Century U.S. Literature and Culture (Imagining the Americas Series). By Elizabeth Fenton. Pp. Xi, 178, New York, Oxford University Press, 2011, $65.00. [REVIEW] Heythrop Journal 54 (6):1063-1064.
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  43. Farber Ilya, Thomas Brian Mooney, Mark Nowacki, Yoo Guan Tan & John N. Williams, Thinking Things Through: An Introduction to Analytical Skills Second Edition.
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  44. C. Simon, L. A. Shinkunas, D. Brandt & J. K. Williams (2012). Individual Genetic and Genomic Research Results and the Tradition of Informed Consent: Exploring US Review Board Guidance. Journal of Medical Ethics 38 (7):417-422.
    Background Genomic research is challenging the tradition of informed consent. Genomic researchers in the USA, Canada and parts of Europe are encouraged to use informed consent to address the prospect of disclosing individual research results (IRRs) to study participants. In the USA, no national policy exists to direct this use of informed consent, and it is unclear how local institutional review boards (IRBs) may want researchers to respond. Objective and methods To explore publicly accessible IRB websites for guidance in this (...)
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  45. J. R. G. Williams (2012). Gradational Accuracy and Nonclassical Semantics. Review of Symbolic Logic 5 (4):513-537.
    Joyce (1998) gives an argument for probabilism: the doctrine that rational credences should conform to the axioms of probability. In doing so, he provides a distinctive take on how the normative force of probabilism relates to the injunction to believe what is true. But Joyce presupposes that the truth values of the propositions over which credences are defined are classical. I generalize the core of Joyce’s argument to remove this presupposition. On the same assumptions as Joyce uses, the credences of (...)
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  46. J. R. G. Williams (2012). Indeterminacy and Normative Silence. Analysis 72 (2):217-225.
    This paper examines two puzzles of indeterminacy. The first puzzle concerns the hypothesis that there is a unified phenomenon of indeterminacy. How are we to reconcile this with the apparent diversity of reactions that indeterminacy prompts? The second puzzle focuses narrowly on borderline cases of vague predicates. How are we to account for the lack of theoretical consensus about what the proper reaction to borderline cases is? I suggest (building on work by Maudlin) that the characteristic feature of indeterminacy is (...)
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  47. J. R. G. Williams (2012). Vagueness and Degrees of Truth, by Nicholas J. J. Smith. Mind 120 (480):1297-1305.
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  48. J. Robert G. Williams (2012). Counterfactual Triviality. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 85 (3):648-670.
    I formulate a counterfactual version of the notorious 'Ramsey Test'. Whereas the Ramsey Test for indicative conditionals links credence in indicatives to conditional credences, the counterfactual version links credence in counterfactuals to expected conditional chance. I outline two forms: a Ramsey Identity on which the probability of the conditional should be identical to the corresponding conditional probabihty/expectation of chance; and a Ramsey Bound on which credence in the conditional should never exceed the latter.Even in the weaker, bound, form, the counterfactual (...)
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  49. J. Robert G. Williams (2012). Chancy Counterfactuals, Redux. Analytic Philosophy 53 (4):352-361.
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