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Profile: Kathrin Koslicki (University of Alberta)
  1.  82
    Kathrin Koslicki (2008). The Structure of Objects. Oxford University Press.
    The objects we encounter in ordinary life and scientific practice - cars, trees, people, houses, molecules, galaxies, and the like - have long been a fruitful source of perplexity for metaphysicians. The Structure of Objects gives an original analysis of those material objects to which we take ourselves to be committed in our ordinary, scientifically informed discourse. Koslicki focuses on material objects in particular, or, as metaphysicians like to call them "concrete particulars", i.e., objects which occupy a single region of (...)
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  2. Kathrin Koslicki (2016). Where Grounding and Causation Part Ways: Comments on Schaffer. Philosophical Studies 173 (1):101-112.
    Does the notion of ground, as it has recently been employed by metaphysicians, point to a single unified phenomenon? Jonathan Schaffer holds that the phenomenon of grounding exhibits the unity characteristic of a single genus. In defense of this hypothesis, Schaffer proposes to take seriously the analogy between causation and grounding. More specifically, Schaffer argues that both grounding and causation are best approached through a single formalism, viz., that utilized by structural equation models of causation. In this paper, I present (...)
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  3.  11
    Kathrin Koslicki (2015). The Coarse-Grainedness of Grounding. Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 2015:306-344.
    After many years of enduring the drought and famine of Quinean ontology and Carnapian meta-ontology, the notion of ground, with its distinctively philosophical flavor, finally promises to give metaphysicians something they can believe in again and around which they can rally: their very own metaphysical explanatory connection which apparently cannot be reduced to, or analyzed in terms of, other familiar idioms such as identity, modality, parthood, supervenience, realization, causation or counterfactual dependence. Often, phenomena such as the following are cited as (...)
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  4.  97
    Kathrin Koslicki (2012). Varieties of Ontological Dependence. In Fabrice Correia & Benjamin Schnieder (eds.), Metaphysical Grounding: Understanding the Structure of Reality. Cambridge University Press 186.
    A significant reorientation is currently under way in analytic metaphysics, away from an almost exclusive focus on questions of existence and towards a greater concentration on questions concerning the dependence of one type of phenomenon on another. Surprisingly, despite the central role dependence has played in philosophy since its inception, interest in a systematic study of this concept has only recently surged among contemporary metaphysicians. In this paper, I focus on a promising account of ontological dependence in terms of a (...)
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  5. Kathrin Koslicki (2003). The Crooked Path From Vagueness to Four-Dimensionalism. Philosophical Studies 114 (1-2):107 - 134.
    The main goal of Sider’s book, Four-Dimensionalism: An Ontology of Persistence and Time, is to show why his version of four- dimensionalism, the stage-theory, on balance, should be preferred over its main competitors: it is, in his view, the theory which presents the best unified treatment of a wide range of central metaphysical puzzles; the theory which has, on balance, “the most important advantages and the least serious drawbacks” (ibid., p. 140). I argue in this paper that, when we add (...)
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  6. Kathrin Koslicki (1999). The Semantics of Mass-Predicates. Noûs 33 (1):46-91.
    Along with many other languages, English has a relatively straightforward grammatical distinction between mass-occurrences of nouns and their countoccurrences. As the mass-count distinction, in my view, is best drawn between occurrences of expressions, rather than expressions themselves, it becomes important that there be some rule-governed way of classifying a given noun-occurrence into mass or count. The project of classifying noun-occurrences is the topic of Section II of this paper. Section III, the remainder of the paper, concerns the semantic differences between (...)
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  7. Kathrin Koslicki (2012). Essence, Necessity, and Explanation. In Tuomas E. Tahko (ed.), Contemporary Aristotelian Metaphysics. Cambridge University Press 187--206.
    It is common to think of essence along modal lines: the essential truths, on this approach, are a subset of the necessary truths. But Aristotle conceives of the necessary truths as being distinct and derivative from the essential truths. Such a non-modal conception of essence also constitutes a central component of the neo-Aristotelian approach to metaphysics defended over the last several decades by Kit Fine. Both Aristotle and Fine rely on a distinction between what belongs to the essence proper of (...)
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  8. Kathrin Koslicki (2008). Natural Kinds and Natural Kind Terms. Philosophy Compass 3 (4):789-802.
    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 (...)
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  9.  33
    Kathrin Koslicki (2015). The Causal Priority of Form in Aristotle. Studia Philosophica Estonica 7 (2):113.
    In various texts, Aristotle assigns priority to form, in its role as a principle and cause, over matter and the matter-form compound. Given the central role played by this claim in Aristotle's search for primary substance in the Metaphysics, it is important to understand what motivates him in locating the primary causal responsibility for a thing's being what it is with the form, rather than the matter. According to Met. Theta.8, actuality [ energeia / entelecheia ] in general is prior (...)
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  10.  92
    Kathrin Koslicki (2006). Aristotle's Mereology and the Status of Form. Journal of Philosophy 103 (12):715-736.
    In a difficult but fascinating passage in Metaphysics Z.17, Aristotle puts forward a proposal, by means of a regress argument, according to which a whole or matter/form-compound is one or unified, in contrast to a heap, due to the presence of form or essence. This proposal gives rise to two central questions: (i) the question of whether form itself is to be viewed, literally and strictly speaking, as part of the matter/form-compound; and (ii) the question of whether form is to (...)
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  11.  62
    Kathrin Koslicki (2004). Constitution and Similarity. Philosophical Studies 117 (3):327-363.
    Whenever an object constitutes, makes up or composes another object, the objects in question share a striking number of properties. This paper is addressed to the question of what might account for the intimate relation and striking similarity between constitutionally related objects. According to my account, the similarities between constitutionally related objects are captured at least in part by means of a principle akin to that of strong supervenience. My paper addresses two main issues. First, I propose independently plausible principles (...)
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  12. Kathrin Koslicki (2007). Towards a Neo-Aristotelian Mereology. Dialectica 61 (1):127–159.
    This paper provides a detailed examination of Kit Fine’s sizeable contribution to the development of a neo-Aristotelian alternative to standard mereology; I focus especially on the theory of ‘rigid’ and ‘variable embodiments’, as defended in Fine 1999. Section 2 briefly describes the system I call ‘standard mereology’. Section 3 lays out some of the main principles and consequences of Aristotle’s own mereology, in order to be able to compare Fine’s system with its historical precursor. Section 4 gives an exposition of (...)
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  13.  69
    Kathrin Koslicki (1999). Genericity and Logical Form. Mind and Language 14 (4):441–467.
    In this paper I propose a novel treatment of generic sentences, which proceeds by means of different levels of analysis. According to this account, all generic sentences (I-generics and D-generics alike) are initially treated in a uniform manner, as involving higher-order predication (following the work of George Boolos, James Higginbotham and Barry Schein on plurals). Their non-uniform character, however, re-emerges at subsequent levels of analysis, when the higher-order predications of the first level are cashed out in terms of quantification over (...)
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  14.  37
    Kathrin Koslicki (2005). Almost Indiscernible Objects and the Suspect Strategy. Journal of Philosophy 102 (2):55 - 77.
    This paper examines a variety of contexts in metaphysics which employ a strategy I consider to be suspect. In each of these contexts, ‘The Suspect Strategy’ (TSS) aims at excluding a series of troublesome contexts from a general principle whose truth the philosopher in question wishes to preserve. We see (TSS) implemented with respect to Leibniz’s Law (LL) in the context of Gibbard’s defense of contingent identity, Myro and Gallois’ defense of temporary identity, as well as Terence Parsons’ defense of (...)
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  15. Marcelo Ferreira Copley, Elena Guerzoni, Martin Hackl, Elena Herburger, Jim Higginbotham, Norbert Homstein, Kathrin Koslicki, Utpal Lahiri, Richard Larson & Peter Ludlow (2006). Barry Schein. In Barry C. Smith (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Language. Oxford University Press
     
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  16. Kathrin Koslicki (2015). In Defense of Substance. Grazer Philosophische Studien 91:59-80.
    In his “Farewell to Substance: A Differentiated Leave-Taking”, Peter Simons reaches the provocative conclusion that the concept of substance, as it is employed by metaphysicians, has become obsolete, since in the end there may be nothing at all which answers to it. No harm is done, Simons allows, if we continue to retain an everyday notion of substance, as long as we are aware of the limitations of this practice: there is no reason in general to expect that what is (...)
     
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  17.  42
    Kathrin Koslicki (2003). Review of Theodore Sider, Four-Dimensionalism: An Ontology of Persistence and Time. [REVIEW] Philosophical Review 112 (1):110-113.
  18.  45
    Kathrin Koslicki (2005). On the Substantive Nature of Disagreements in Ontology. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 71 (1):85–151.
    This paper concerns a fundamental dispute in ontology between the “Foundational Ontologist”, who believes that there is only one correct way of characterizing what there is, and the ontological “Skeptic”, who believes that there are viable alternative characterizations of what there is. I examine in detail an intriguing recent proposal in Dorr (2005), which promises to yield (i) a way of interpreting the Skeptic by means of a counterfactual semantics; and (ii) a way of converting the Skeptic to a position (...)
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  19.  16
    Kathrin Koslicki (2004). Review of Verity Harte, Plato on Parts and Wholes: The Metaphysics of Structure. [REVIEW] Journal of Philosophy 101 (9):492-496.
  20. Kathrin Koslicki (2008). The Structure of Objects. Oxford University Press Uk.
    The objects we encounter in ordinary life and scientific practice -- cars, trees, people, houses, molecules, galaxies, and the like -- have long been a fruitful source of perplexity for metaphysicians. The Structure of Objects gives an original analysis of those material objects to which we take ourselves to be committed in our ordinary, scientifically informed discourse. Koslicki focuses on material objects in particular, or, as metaphysicians like to call them "concrete particulars", i.e., objects which occupy a single region of (...)
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  21.  36
    Kathrin Koslicki (1997). Isolation and Non-Arbitrary Division: Frege's Two Criteria for Counting. Synthese 112 (3):403-430.
    In §54 of the Grundlagen, Frege advances an interesting proposal on how to distinguish among different sorts of concepts, only some of which he thinks can be associated with number. This paper is devoted to an analysis of the two criteria he offers, isolation and non-arbitrary division. Both criteria say something about the way in which a concept divides its extension; but they emphasize different aspects. Isolation ensures that a concept divides its extension into discrete units. I offer two construals (...)
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  22.  27
    Kathrin Koslicki (1997). Isolation and Non-Arbitrary Division: Frege's Two Criteria for Counting. Synthese 112 (3):403-430.
    In §54 of the Grundlagen, Frege advances an interesting proposal on how to distinguish among different sorts of concepts, only some of which he thinks can be associated with number. This paper is devoted to an analysis of the two criteria he offers, isolation and non-arbitrary division. Both criteria say something about the way in which a concept divides its extension; but they emphasize different aspects. Isolation ensures that a concept divides its extension into discrete units. I offer two construals (...)
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  23.  17
    Kathrin Koslicki (1997). Four-Eighths Hephaistos: Artifacts and Living Things in Aristotle. History of Philosophy Quarterly 14 (1):77 - 98.
    There is considerable dispute in the literature as to how much, in Aristotle's universe, living things and artifacts really have in common. To what extent is the relation between form and matter in living things comparable to the relation between form and matter in artifacts? Aristotle no doubt employs artifact-analogies rather frequently in describing the workings of living things. But where does the usefulness of these analogies reach its limits? In this paper, I argue that Aristotle's artifact-analogies are frequently over-extended (...)
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  24. Kathrin Koslicki (2013). Ontological Dependence: An Opinionated Survey. In Benjamin Schnieder, Miguel Hoeltje & Alex Steinberg (eds.), Varieties of Dependence: Ontological Dependence, Grounding, Supervenience, Response-Dependence (Basic Philosophical Concepts). Philosophia Verlag 31-64.
    This essay provides an opinionated survey of some recent developments in the literature on ontological dependence. Some of the most popular definitions of ontological dependence are formulated in modal terms; others in non-modal terms (e.g., in terms of the explanatory connective, ‘because’, or in terms of a non-modal conception of essence); some (viz., the existential construals of ontological dependence) emphasise requirements that must be met in order for an entity to exist; others (viz., the essentialist construals) focus on conditions that (...)
     
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  25. Kathrin Koslicki (2006). Aristotle’s Mereology And The Status Of Form. Journal of Philosophy 103 (12):715-736.
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  26. Kathrin Koslicki (2014). Mereological Sums and Singular Terms. In Shieva Kleinschmidt (ed.), Mereology and Location. Oxford University Press 209-235.
    The relative merits of standard mereology have received quite a bit of attention in recent years from metaphysicians concerned with the part/whole properties of material objects. A question that has not been pursued to the same degree, however, is what sort of semantic repercussions a commitment to mereological sums in the standard sense might have in particular on the predicted behavior of singular terms and our practices of using such terms to refer to objects. The apparent mismatch between our actual (...)
     
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  27. Kathrin Koslicki (2004). Plato on Parts and Wholes. Journal of Philosophy 101 (9):492-496.
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  28. Kathrin Koslicki (2015). Questions of Ontology. In Stephan Blatti & Sandra Lapointe (eds.), Ontology After Carnap. Oxford University Press
    Following W.V. Quine’s lead, many metaphysicians consider ontology to be concerned primarily with existential questions of the form, “What is there?”. Moreover, if the position advanced by Rudolf Carnap, in his seminal essay, “Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology ”, is correct, then many of these existential ontological questions ought to be classified as either trivially answerable or as “pseudo-questions”. One may justifiably wonder, however, whether the Quinean and Carnapian perspective on ontology really does justice to many of the most central concerns (...)
     
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  29. Kathrin Koslicki (2007). Review of Henry Laycock, Words Without Objects: Semantics, Ontology, and Logic for Non-Singularity. [REVIEW] Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (1):160-163.
  30. Kathrin Koslicki (2013). Substance, Independence and Unity. In Edward Feser (ed.), Aristotle on Method and Metaphysics. Palgrave/Macmillan 169-195.
    In this paper, I consider particular attempts by E. J. Lowe and Michael Gorman at providing an independence criterion of substancehood and argue that the stipulative exclusion of non-particulars and proper parts (or constituents) from such accounts raises difficult issues for their proponents. The results of the present discussion seem to indicate that, at least for the case of composite entities, a unity criterion of substancehood might have at least as much, and perhaps more, to offer than an independence criterion (...)
     
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  31. Kathrin Koslicki (1995). Talk About Stuffs & Things: The Logic of Mass and Count Nouns. Dissertation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    My thesis examines the mass/count distinction; that is, to illustrate, the distinction between the role of "hair" in "There is hair in my soup" and "There is a hair in my soup". In "hair" has a mass-occurrence; in a count-occurrence. These two kinds of noun-occurrences, I argue, can be marked off from each other largely on syntactic grounds. Along the semantic dimension, I suggest that, in order to account for the intuitive distinction between nouns in their mass-occurrences and their singular (...)
     
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  32. Kathrin Koslicki (2008). The Structure of Objects. Oxford University Press Uk.
    The objects we encounter in ordinary life and scientific practice - cars, trees, people, houses, molecules, galaxies, and the like - have long been a fruitful source of perplexity for metaphysicians. The Structure of Objects gives an original analysis of those material objects to which we take ourselves to be committed in our ordinary, scientifically informed discourse. Koslicki focuses on material objects in particular, or, as metaphysicians like to call them "concrete particulars", i.e., objects which occupy a single region of (...)
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