I am attracted to ontological pluralism, the doctrine that some things exist in a different way than other things.1 For the ontological pluralist, there is more to learn about an object’s existential status than merely whether it is or is not: there is still the question of how that entity exists. By contrast, according to the ontological monist, either something is or it isn’t, and that’s all there is say about a thing’s existential status. We appear to be to be (...) ontological committed to what I will call almost nothings. Examples of almost nothings include holes, cracks, and shadows; almost nothings thrive in the absence of ‘positive’ entities such as donuts, walls, and sunlight. Let’s focus on holes, since the literature on them is voluminous.2 We quantify over holes, and even count them: we say, for example, that there are some holes in the cheese, seven to be precise. We ascribe features to them and talk as though they stand in relations: that hole is three feet wide, much wider than that tire over there. Holes apparently persist through time, as evidenced by the fact that my sweater has the same hole in it as the last time you saw me wear it. We even talk as though holes are causally efficacious: my ankle was badly sprained because I stepped in that hole in the sidewalk.3 It seems then that we believe in holes. If our beliefs are true, holes must enjoy some kind of reality. This puts the ontological monist in an uncomfortable position. According to her, everything that there is enjoys the same kind of reality, which is the kind of reality enjoyed by full-fledged concrete entities such as ourselves. She is committed to the unpleasant claim that holes are just as real as concretia, a claim that is apt to be met with incredulous stares by those not acquainted with contemporary metaphysics. Roy Sorensen (2008, p. 19) notes the tension almost nothings generate for ontological monists: ‘… it feels paradoxical to say that absences exist—but no better to say that absences do not exist’.. (shrink)
Philosophical questions concerning parts and wholes have received a tremendous amount of the attention of contemporary analytic metaphysicians. In what follows, I discuss some of the central questions. The questions to be discussed are: how general is parthood? Are there different kinds of parthood or ways to be a part? Can two things be composed of the same parts? When does composition occur? Can material objects gain or lose parts? What is the logical form of the parthood relation enjoyed by (...) material objects? (shrink)
The claim that composition is identity is an intuition in search of a formulation. The farmer’s field is made of six plots, and in some sense is nothing more than those six plots. According to the friend of composition as identity, the six plots are identical with the farmer’s field.1 Some philosophers, such as Peter van Inwagen (1994), have claimed that the view that composition is identity is incoherent. Van Inwagen cites the apparent ungrammaticality of sentences like ‘the six plots (...) are the farmer’s field’ as evidence for his view. Perhaps van Inwagen is right, but I needn’t settle this question here. I will argue against the view that composition is identity, whatever that view amounts to, in the following way. First, I will elucidate a principle called ‘the Plural Duplication Principle’ [PDP]. Any acceptable way of making sense of the slogan that composition is identity— i.e., any way that properly conforms to the intuitions that lead one to utter this slogan— must validate PDP. Second, I argue that PDP is false. So any acceptable way of making sense of the slogan that composition is identity is false. The slogan that composition is identity will be refuted prior to being properly formulated. Following David Lewis (1986: 59-63), let us say that x and y are duplicates just in case there is a 1-1 correspondence between their parts that preserves perfectly natural properties and relations. Suppose that A is identical with B. Then any duplicate of A must also be a duplicate of B. This follows via Leibniz’s Law: if some duplicate of A were not.. (shrink)
The problem of qualitative heterogeneity is to explain how an extended simple can enjoy qualitative variation across its spatial or temporal axes, given that it lacks both spatial and temporal parts. I discuss how friends of extended simples should address the problem of qualitative heterogeneity. I present a series of arguments designed to show that rather than appealing to fundamental distributional properties one should appeal to tiny and short-lived tropes. Along the way, issues relevant to debates about material composition, persistence (...) over time and existence monism are discussed.  . (shrink)
I argue that extended simples are possible. The argument given here parallels an argument given elsewhere for the claim that the shape properties of material objects are extrinsic, not intrinsic as is commonly supposed. In the final section of the paper, I show that if the shape properties of material objects are extrinsic, the most popular argument against extended simples fails.
Possibilism—the view that there are non-actual, merely possible entities—is a surprisingly resilient doctrine.1 One particularly hardy strand of possibilism—the modal realism championed by David Lewis—continues to attract both foes who seek to demonstrate its falsity (or at least stare its advocates into apostasy) and friends who hope to defend modal realism (or, when necessary, modify modal realism so as to avoid problematic objections).2 Although I am neither a foe nor friend of modal realism (but some of my best friends are!), (...) like many I continue to be fascinated by the doctrine. (shrink)
Composition as Identity is the view that, in some sense, a whole is numerically identical with its parts. Compositional universalism is the view that, whenever there are some things, there is a whole composed of those things. Despite the claims of many philosophers, these views are logically independent. Here, I will show that composition as identity does not entail compositional universalism.
It is not at all obvious how best to draw the distinction between conditional and unconditional desires. In this paper we examine extant attempts to analyse conditional desire. From the failures of those attempts, we draw a moral that leads us to the correct account of conditional desires. We then extend the account of conditional desires to an account of all desires. It emerges that desires do not have the structure that they have been thought to have. We attempt to (...) explain the distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic desire in light of our account of desire. We show how to use our account to solve Wollheim's paradox of democracy and to save modus ponens. Finally, we extend the account of desire to related phenomena, such as conditional promises, intentions, and commands. (shrink)
If _presentism_ is true, then no wholly non-present events exist. If _absence orthodoxy_ is true, then no absences exist. I discuss a well-known causal argument against presentism, and develop a very similar argument against absence orthodoxy. I argue that solutions to the argument against absence orthodoxy can be adopted by the presentist as solutions to the argument against presentism. The upshot is that if the argument against absence orthodoxy fails, then so does the argument against presentism.
Friends of states of affairs and structural universals appeal to a relation, structure-making, that is allegedly a kind of composition relation: structure-making ?builds? facts out of particulars and universals, and ?builds? structural universals out of unstructured universals. D. M. Armstrong, an eminent champion of structures, endorses two interesting theses concerning composition. First, that structure-making is a composition relation. Second, that it is not the only (fundamental) composition relation: Armstrong also believes in a mode of composition that he calls mereological, and (...) which he takes to be the only kind of composition recognized by his philosophical adversaries, such as David Lewis. Armstrong, accordingly, is a kind of pluralist about compositional relations: there is more than one way to make wholes from parts. In this paper, I critically evaluate Armstrong's compositional pluralism. (shrink)
In this paper, I formulate, elucidate, and defend a version of modal realism with overlap , the view that objects are literally present at more than one possible world. The version that I defend has several interesting features: (i) it is committed to an ontological distinction between regions of spacetime and material objects; (ii) it is committed to compositional pluralism , which is the doctrine that there is more than one fundamental part-whole relation; and (iii) it is the modal analogue (...) of endurantism , which is the doctrine that objects persist through time by being wholly present at each moment they are located. (shrink)
I argue that a solution to puzzles concerning the relationship ofobjects and their properties – a version of the `bundle' theory ofparticulars according to which ordinary objects are mereologicalfusions of monadic and relational tropes – is also a solution topuzzles of material constitution involving the allegedco-location of material objects. Additionally, two argumentsthat have played a prominent role in shaping the current debate,Mark Heller's argument for Four Dimensionalism and Peter vanInwagen's argument against Mereological Universalism, are shownto be unsound given this version (...) of the bundle theory. (shrink)
Recently, I’ve championed the doctrine that fundamentally different sorts of things exist in fundamentally different ways.1 On this view, what it is for an entity to be can differ across ontological categories.2 Although historically this doctrine was very popular, and several important challenges to this doctrine have been dealt with, I suspect that contemporary metaphysicians will continue to treat this view with suspicion until it is made clearer when one is warranted in positing different modes of existence.3 I address this (...) concern here. The question of when to posit ways of being is closely related to a more general question: when should one think that some philosophically interesting expression is analogous? Accordingly, my strategy here is as follows. First, I briefly explain my interpretation of ontological pluralism, the doctrine that there are ways of being.4 Second, I introduce the notion of an analogous term, and show how, on most ways of implementing ontological pluralism, “existence” is analogous. Third, I discuss two sufficient conditions for when one is warranted in claiming that a philosophically interesting term is analogous. Fourth, I present a series of ontological schemes, each of which satisfies at least one of the sufficient conditions. The upshot is this: if you are attracted to one of these ontologies, you have reason to believe in ways of being. The careful reader will have noted the apparent modesty of my conclusion. Unfortunately, I do not believe that one could ever be rationally required to believe in ways of being. Still, in general a metaphysic is a live option to the extent that it is shown to be rationally permissible to believe. Since the apparent consensus among contemporary analytic metaphysicians is that believing that things can exist in different ways is silly or confused, establishing the rational permissibility of belief in ways of being is a non-trivial task. Let us begin. (shrink)
In a recent paper titled 'Simples', Ned Markosian asks and answers the Simple Question, which is, 'under what circumstances is it true of some object that it has no proper parts?' Markosian's answer to the simple question is MaxCon , which states that an object is a simple if and only if it is a maximally continuous object. I present several arguments against MaxCon.
In a recent paper, Stephen Barker and Phil Dowe (2003)1 argue that multilocation is impossible. An object enjoys multi-location just in case it is wholly present at more than one (distinct) space-time region (106). One popular view that is committed to multi-located objects is endurantism, the doctrine that objects persist through time by being wholly present at each time they are located.2 So if Barker and Dowe are right, endurantism is in big trouble.
Ethics position theory (EPT) maintains that individuals’ personal moral philosophies influence their judgments, actions, and emotions in ethically intense situations. The theory, when describing these moral viewpoints, stresses two dimensions: idealism (concern for benign outcomes) and relativism (skepticism with regards to inviolate moral principles). Variations in idealism and relativism across countries were examined via a meta-analysis of studies that assessed these two aspects of moral thought using the ethics position questionnaire (EPQ; Forsyth, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 39, 175–184, (...) 1980). This review identified 139 samples drawn from 29 different countries, for a total sample of 30,230 respondents, and concluded that (a) levels of idealism and relativism vary across regions of the world in predictable ways; (b) an exceptionist ethic is more common in Western countries, subjectivism and situationism in Eastern countries, and absolutism and situationism in Middle Eastern countries; and (c) a nation’s ethics position predicted that country’s location on previously documented cultural dimensions, such as individualism and avoidance of uncertainty (Hofstede, Culture’s Consequences: International Differences in Work-Related Values, 1980). Limitations in these methods and concerns about the validity of these cross-cultural conclusions are noted, as are suggestions for further research using the EPQ. (shrink)
Suppose that a material object is gunky: all of its parts are located in space, and each of its parts has a proper part. Does it follow from this hypothesis that the space in which that object resides must itself be gunky? I argue that it does not. There is room for gunky objects in a space that decomposes without remainder into mereological simples.
Underlying solar energy development is a fundamental issue of values and individual choices. Where solar energy comes to include such ideas as appropriate decentralized technology, self-sufficiency and autonomy, and a responsibility to conserve and preserve the environment, solar energy can become a channel for exploring alternative values. The requirement here is to view solar energy not as just anotherenergy source maintaining an ever increasing fiow of consumption goods. Rather, solar energy should be viewed as an opportunity for the development of (...) values which expand individual choices through the creative process of the community paradigm. (shrink)
Despite the importance of the interorganizational nature of the marketing research process, very little research has addressed how research organizations differ and how they affect each other in the conduct of ethical marketing research. The purpose of this study is to examine differences among three typical participants in the research process: corporate research departments, marketing research firms, and data subcontractors. These organizations were examined with respect to having and enforcing internal codes of conduct and the awareness and enforcement of external (...) codes of conduct. By exploring these differences, this study should help marketing researchers better understand the relationships among participants in the research process. Understanding these differences is the first step toward controlling the potential for ethical conflict among research participants. (shrink)
The purpose of this study was to examine the role of physicians on HEC including structural and process features. Four committees were selected from among 12 volunteering to participate with 12 sessions observed. Power analysis (0.8) confirmed an adequate number of communication exchanges, and no statistical significant difference (p < 0.05) among two prior surveys affirmed the sample. Data collection included established questionnaires and communication analyses with a tested method. Results revealed physician presence was robust and similar to prior reports (...) on HEC structure; however, physicians rated their role effectiveness lower than other occupations and lower than overall committee effectiveness. Communication exchanges representing process revealed three positive communication types, and consistent attempts to aid committee functions through consensual processes that also were substantiated by non-physician members. Findings suggested more attention to both structural and process functions of HEC and their members. (shrink)
Kris McDaniel (2009). Ways of Being. In David John Chalmers, David Manley & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press.score: 30.0
There are many kinds of beings – stones, persons, artifacts, numbers, propositions – but are there also many kinds of being? The world contains a variety of objects, each of which exists – but do some objects exist in different ways? The historically popular answer is yes. This answer is suggested by the Aristotelian slogan that “being is said in many ways”, and according to some interpretations is Aristotle’s view.1 Variants of this slogan were championed by medieval philosophers, such as (...) Aquinas, who worried that God cannot be said to exist in the same sense (or in the same way?) as created things.2 Descartes alluded to the medievals’ worry, but extensive discussion of the problem of being disappeared from the central stage by the time of the modern period.3 However, in the early 20th century, friends of ways of being included Alexius Meinong (1910: 49- 62), G.E. Moore (1903: 161-163), Russell (1912: 91-100), Husserl (1901: 249-250), and Heidegger (1927).4 In what follows, I develop a meta-ontological theory based on the work of Martin Heidegger circa Being and Time. I take Heidegger’s work as my inspiration because of the historical importance of Heidegger’s philosophy, and because Heidegger provides a particularly clear statement of the doctrine that there are many ways to be. I begin by carefully discussing and then formulating the relevant aspects of Heidegger’s metaontological theory. Heidegger claims both that the word “being” has many meanings and that there are different ways in which things exist. Section 2 explicates the former thesis, as well as elucidates the connection between senses of “being” and quantification. Most contemporary analytic metaphysicians believe that the idea that different kinds of beings can enjoy different ways of being is metaphysically bankrupt, and probably even meaningless.5 They are mistaken. In section 3, I discuss the doctrine that there are ways of being, and show how we can understand this doctrine in terms of the meta-ontological framework defended by Theodore Sider.. (shrink)
In developing theologies and spiritualities of ecology, Christians can learn from the Nobel laureate Barbara McClintock and from process theology. That “feeling for the organism” of which McClintock speaks can be understood within a process context as a distinctive mode of spirituality. The feeling is an intuitive and sympathetic apprehension of another creature in a way which mirrors God’s own way of perceiving. It involves feeling the other creature as a fellow subject with intrinsic value. A subjective capacity of this (...) sort is by no means sufficient for a spirituality of ecology, but by all means necessary. (shrink)
As more women enter the work force and assume management positions in corporations, increasing attention is being given to employment diversity. In addition, studies suggest that females have more propensity for ethics than males. However, these results may be debatable and limited data are available to substantiate these claims or assess gender differences among employees. Ethics codes can aid in supporting policies and enhancing corporate diversity. To assist one company in the development of an ethics code, a survey of 4005 (...) employees in one U.S. corporation was conducted to ascertain their opinions of the ethical environment of the company. The survey used the Ethics Environment Questionnaire (EEQ), consisting of twenty items on a 5-point Likert-type scale; reliability on Cronbach's alpha was 0.94. Response rate was 50%, with the sample paralleling the population in proportion of males and females. Respondents reported a profile of 3.18 out of the high of 5.0, but with several significant differences between the male and female employees, including differences on education and position. Males were more in agreement than females that the firm had an ethical environment. On some items, however, males and females were in strong agreement. Comparisons to prior studies were drawn, including suggestions for ways corporations could use an ethics survey to tailor in-service training, enhance diversity in the work force, and support the development of an ethics code. (shrink)
With the emergence of quantum theory, the Newtonian idea that matter is inert, devoid of creativity and sentience, becomes questionable. Yet, physicists have by no means agreed upon an alternative understanding that can replace the Newtonian paradigm. Henry Stapp and others argue that Whitehead’s thought provides a peculiarly appropriate framework for a new understanding of matter in light ofquantum theory. The implications for a theology ofecology are manifold. No longer are matter and mind utterly discontinuous, nor is matter devoid of (...) value until assigned value by humans or by God. Even the divine reality is, in a certain sense, “material.” This calls for a new sensitivity within Western religion, in which religion itself becomes openness to, and appreciation for, physical matter. (shrink)
Composition as identity is the strange and strangely compelling doctrine that the whole is in some sense identical to its parts. Kris McDaniel (2008) argues that composition as identity rules out strongly emergent properties. I will argue that one version of the doctrine—namely, the most straightforward, albeit strangest, version—is resistant to the argument in an instructive way. What could it mean to say that one thing (such as a whole) is identical to many things (its parts)? That is indeed (...) the $64,000 question. But however we answer it, McDaniel says, composition as identity had better be taken to imply the following principle. (shrink)
I raised the following question in a recent paper: What are the necessary and jointly sufficient conditions for an object's being a simple? And I proposed and defended this answer (which I called 'MaxCon'): Necessarily, x is a simple iff x is a maximally continuous object. In a more recent paper, Kris McDaniel raises several objections to MaxCon, including, in particular, two objections based on a principle about the supervenience of constitution that he calls 'SoC'. The purpose of the (...) present paper is to address the main objections raised by McDaniel, and to show that none of them poses a serious threat to MaxCon. (shrink)
Ontological Pluralism is the view that there are different modes, ways, or kinds of being. In this paper, I characterize the view more fully (drawing on some recent work by Kris McDaniel) and then defend the view against a number of arguments. (All of the arguments I can think of against it, anyway.).
Introduction: "meaning in life and death : our stories" -- John Martin Fischer and Anthony B rueckner, "Why is death bad?", Philosophical studies, vol. 50, no. 2 (September 1986) -- "Death, badness, and the impossibility of experience," Journal of ethics -- John Martin Fischer and Daniel Speak, "Death and the psychological conception of personal identity," Midwest studies in philosophy, vol. 24 -- "Earlier birth and later death : symmetry through thick and thin," Richard Feldman, Kris McDaniel, Jason R. Raibley, (...) eds., The good, the right, life and death (Aldershot : Ashgate Publishing, 2006) -- "Why immortality is not so bad," International journal of philosophical studies, vol. 2, no. 2 (September 1994) -- John Martin Fischer and Ruth Curl, "Philosophical models of immortality in science fiction," in George Slusser et. al., eds., Immortal engines : life extension and immortality in science fiction and fantasy (Athens, Ga. : University of Georgia Press, 1996) -- "Epicureanism about death and immortality," Journal of ethics, vol. 10, no. 4 -- "Stories," Midwest studies in philosophy, vol. 20 -- "Free will, death, and immortality : the role of narrative," Philosophical papers (Special issue : meaning in life) volume 34, number 3, November 2005 -- "Stories and the meaning of life," revised and expanded version of "A reply to Pereboom, Zimmerman, and Smith," part of a book symposium on John Martin Fischer, my way : essays on moral responsibility, philosophical books, vol. 47, no. 3. (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)
Ethics position theory (EPT) maintains that individuals’ personal moral philosophies influence their judgments, actions, and emotions in ethically intense situations. The theory, when describing these moral viewpoints, stresses two dimensions: idealism (concern for benign outcomes) and relativism (skepticism with regards to inviolate moral principles). Variations in idealism and relativism across countries were examined via a meta-analysis of studies that assessed these two aspects of moral thought using the ethics position questionnaire (EPQ; Forsyth, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 39 , (...) 175–184, 1980). This review identified 139 samples drawn from 29 different countries, for a total sample of 30,230 respondents, and concluded that (a) levels of idealism and relativism vary across regions of the world in predictable ways; (b) an exceptionist ethic is more common in Western countries, subjectivism and situationism in Eastern countries, and absolutism and situationism in Middle Eastern countries; and (c) a nation’s ethics position predicted that country’s location on previously documented cultural dimensions, such as individualism and avoidance of uncertainty (Hofstede, Culture’s Consequences: International Differences in Work-Related Values , 1980). Limitations in these methods and concerns about the validity of these cross-cultural conclusions are noted, as are suggestions for further research using the EPQ. (shrink)
Ned Markosian argues (Australasian Journal of Philosophy 76:213-228, 1998a; Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82:332-340, 2004a, The Monist 87:405-428, 2004b) that simples are ‘maximally continuous’ entities. This leads him to conclude that there could be non-particular ‘stuff’ in addition to things. I first show how an ensuing debate on this issue McDaniel (Australasian Journal of Philosophy 81(2):265-275, 2003); Markosian (Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82:332-340, 2004a) ended in deadlock. I attempt to break the deadlock. Markosian’s view entails stuff-thing coincidence, which I (...) show is just as problematic as the more oft-discussed thing-thing coincidence. Also, the view entails that every particular is only contingently so. If there is a world W like our own, but with ether, then there would be only one object in W. But, since merely adding ether to a world does not destroy the entities in it, then W contains counterparts of all the entities in the actual world—they just are not things. Hence, if simples are maximally continuous, then every actual particular is only contingently so. This in turn entails the following disjunction: (i) identity is contingent or intransitive, or (ii) there are no things at all in the actual world, or (iii) the distinction between stuff and things is one without a difference. I recommend that we reject this stuff-thing dualism. (shrink)
In “Tropes and Ordinary Physical Objects”, Kris McDaniel argues that ordinary physical objects are fusions of monadic and polyadic tropes. McDaniel calls his view “TOPO”—for “Theory of Ordinary Physical Objects”. He argues that we should accept TOPO because of the philosophical work that it allows us to do. Among other things, TOPO is supposed to allow endurantists to reply to Mark Heller’s argument for <span class='Hi'>perdurantism</span>. But, we argue in this paper, TOPO does not help endurantists do that; (...) indeed, we argue that anyone who accepts TOPO should reject endurantism. (shrink)
What effect does witnessing other students cheat have on one's own cheating behavior? What roles do moral attitudes and neutralizing attitudes (justifications for behavior) play when deciding to cheat? The present research proposes a model of academic dishonesty which takes into account each of these variables. Findings from experimental (vignette) and survey methods determined that seeing others cheat increases cheating behavior by causing students to judge the behavior less morally reprehensible, not by making rationalization easier. Witnessing cheating also has unique (...) effects, controlling for other variables. (shrink)
Dennis Ahern and David Soles raise substantial problems for the conventional interpretation of Mo Tzu as a utilitarian. Although they defend different interpretations, both scholars agree that Mo Tzu is committed to a divine command theory in some form, citing the same key passages where, supposedly, Mo Tzu explicitly endorses the divine command theory. In this paper, I defend the orthodox interpretation, insisting that Mo Tzu is a utilitarian. I show that the passages cited by Ahern and Soles do not (...) explicitly endorse the divine command theory and are compatible with the utilitarian interpretation; in fact, I argue that many of these passages must be understood in light of a utilitarian interpretation if they are to be rendered intelligible at all. After showing that motivation for the divine command interpretation is lacking, I argue that the only satisfactory alternative is to understand Mo Tzu as a consistent utilitarian. (shrink)
The essays collected by Karen Tracy, James P. McDaniel, and Bruce E. Gronbeck in The Prettier Doll: Rhetoric, Discourse, and Ordinary Democracy explore the rhetorical details and patterns of grassroots democracy as they emerged in one particular controversy in a Boulder, Colorado, school district in 2001. Attending to the specificities of the case is crucial to the editors' larger mission: to offer a radically localized alternative to the field's penchant for "grand theory," which, they suggest, too often neglects or (...) ignores "the tenacious intrusions of the nonsovereign subject speaking to neighbors and the institutions of the village, town, and city" (37).The essays all explore what, for a while, became known in .. (shrink)