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Profile: Mark Steen (Bogazici University)
  1. Mark Steen, Bare Objects, Ordinary Objects, and Mereological Essentialism.
    From five plausible premises about ordinary objects it follows that ordinary objects are either functions, fictions or processes. Assuming that the function and fiction accounts of ordinary objects are not plausible, in this paper I develop and defend a (non-Whiteheadian) process account of ordinary objects. I first offer an extended deduction that argues for mereological essentialism for masses or quantities, and then offer an inductive argument in favor of interpreting ordinary objects as processes. The ontology has two main types of (...)
     
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  2. Mark Steen, Ontological Nihilisms and Their Problems.
    Concerns of ontological parsimony have driven some philosophers to defend the view that there are absolutely no things at all (or, at most one—the World). I examine these (given their counterintuitiveness) surprisingly well-motivated views and diagnose their errors. Both Spinoza’s ‘field metaphysic’ (attributed to him by Bennett), and Cortens and Hawthorne’s feature-placing based ‘ontological nihilism’ surreptitiously re-introduce ‘things’ or ‘substances’ into their systems. Alan Sidelle’s stuff-ontological object nihilism either has to re-admit objects back into his system, or, perhaps incoherently, and (...)
     
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  3. Mark Steen, The Metaphysics of Mass Expressions. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  4. Mark Steen (2011). More Problems for MaxCon: Contingent Particularity and Stuff-Thing Coincidence. [REVIEW] Acta Analytica 26 (2):135-154.
    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 (...)
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  5. Mark Steen (2011). Why Everyone Acts Altruistically All the Time: What Parodying Psychological Egoism Can Teach Us. Philosophia 39 (3):563-570.
    Psychological Altruism (PA) is the view that everyone, ultimately, acts altruistically all the time. I defend PA by showing strong prima facie support, and show how a reinterpretive strategy against supposed counterexamples is successful. I go on to show how PA can be argued for in ways which exactly mirror the arguments for an opposing view, Psychological Egoism. This shows that the case for PA is at least as plausible as PE. Since the case for PA is not plausible, neither (...)
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  6. Mark Steen (2008). Chisholm's Changing Conception of Ordinary Objects. Grazer Philosophische Studien 76 (1):1-56.
    Roderick Chisholm changed his mind about ordinary objects. Circa 1973-1976, his analysis of them required the positing of two kinds of entities—part-changing ens successiva and non-part-changing, non-scatterable primary objects. This view has been well noted and frequently discussed (e.g., recently in Gallois 1998 and Sider 2001). Less often treated is his later view of ordinary objects (1986-1989), where the two kinds of posited entities change, from ens successiva to modes, and, while retaining primary objects, he now allows them to survive (...)
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