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Profile: Matti Eklund (Uppsala Universitet)
  1. Matti Eklund, Existence, Quantification, and Shallow Ontology.
     
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  2. Matti Eklund, Carnapian Theses in Metaontology and Metaethics.
    In contemporary debates about ontology, one prominent skeptical view emphasizes the existence of different possible languages for doing ontology. Eli Hirsch, in recent years the most prominent proponent of a view like this, has defended the claim that “many familiar questions about the ontology of physical objects are merely verbal. Nothing is substantively at stake in these questions beyond the correct use of language” and the claim that “quantifier expressions can have different meaning in different languages”.1 Ted Sider, while critical (...)
     
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  3. Matti Eklund, Evaluative Language and Evaluative Reality.
  4. Matti Eklund, Reply to Beall and Priest.
    In my ‘Deep Inconsistency’ (2002a) (henceforth DI), I criticized Graham Priest’s dialetheism by unfavorably comparing it to my preferred view on the liar paradox, a view I will here call the meaning–inconsistency view. Perhaps the main claim in Jc Beall and Priest’s reply (henceforth B&P)1 is that I am guilty of an ignoratio: in DI, I argue that Priest (1987) fails to establish the analyticity of certain principles, but, B&P say, Priest (1987) isn’t concerned to argue for the analyticity (...)
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  5. Matti Eklund, The Descriptive and the Evaluative.
    (For colloquium talk in Aarhus, Denmark.).
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  6. Matti Eklund, The Inconsistency View on Vagueness.
    I elaborate and defend the inconsistency view on vagueness I have earlier argued for in my (2002) and (forthcoming). In rough outline, the view is that the sorites paradox arises because tolerance principles, despite their inconsistency, are meaning-constitutive for vague expressions. Toward the end of the paper I discuss other inconsistency views on vagueness that have been proposed, and compare them to the view I favor.
     
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  7. Matti Eklund, This Social Phlogiston, ‘Justice’.
    There is a vexed question in the literature on Marx of whether Marx was somehow anti-morality or if on the contrary he was instead defending a particular, perhaps rather radical, conception of morality. This question will be my starting point. But I will have nothing to contribute to the scholarly question of what Marx’s view was. Rather my aim will be this. Whatever in the end is the correct interpretation of Marx, it is undeniable that there are passages in Marx (...)
     
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  8. Matti Eklund (forthcoming). Book Review. Truth. Alexis Burgess and John Burgess. [REVIEW] History and Philosophy of Logic.
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  9. Matti Eklund (forthcoming). Review of Vagueness in Context, by Stewart Shapiro. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
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  10. Matti Eklund (2014). Rayo's Metametaphysics. 57 (4):483-497.
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  11. Matti Eklund (2013). Carnap's Metaontology. Noûs 47 (2):229-249.
  12. Matti Eklund (2013). Metaphysical Vagueness and Metaphysical Indeterminacy. Metaphysica 14 (2):165-179.
    The topic of this paper is whether there is metaphysical vagueness. It is shown that it is important to distinguish between the general phenomenon of indeterminacy and the more narrow phenomenon of vagueness (the phenomenon that paradigmatically rears its head in sorites reasoning). Relatedly, it is important to distinguish between metaphysical indeterminacy and metaphysical vagueness. One can wish to allow metaphysical indeterminacy but rule out metaphysical vagueness. As is discussed in the paper, central argument against metaphysical vagueness, like those of (...)
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  13. Matti Eklund (2013). Trends and Progress in Philosophy. Metaphilosophy 44 (3):276-292.
    This article is in three parts. The first discusses trends in philosophy. The second defends reliance on intuitions in philosophy from some doubts that have recently been raised. The third discusses Philip Kitcher's contention that contemporary analytic philosophy does not have its priorities straight. While the three parts are independent, there is a common theme. Each part defends what is regarded as orthodoxy from attacks. Of course there are other reasonable challenges to philosophical methodology. The article's aim is just to (...)
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  14. Matti Eklund (2012). Alternative Normative Concepts. Analytic Philosophy 53 (2):139-157.
  15. Matti Eklund (2012). Multitude, Tolerance and Language-Transcendence. Synthese 187 (3):833-847.
    Rudolf Carnap's 1930s philosophy of logic, including his adherence to the principle of tolerance, is discussed. What theses did Carnap commit himself to, exactly? I argue that while Carnap did commit himself to a certain multitude thesis—there are different logics of different languages, and the choice between these languages is merely a matter of expediency—there is no evidence that he rejected a language-transcendent notion of fact, contrary to what Warren Goldfarb and Thomas Ricketts have prominently argued. (In fact, it is (...)
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  16. Matti Eklund (2011). 4. Being Metaphysically Unsettled. In Karen Bennett & Dean Zimmerman (eds.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics. Oxford University Press. 6--149.
     
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  17. Matti Eklund (2011). Being Metaphysically Unsettled: Barnes and WIlliams on Metaphysical Indeterminacy and Vagueness. In Karen Bennett & Dean Zimmerman (eds.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics Vol. 6. Oxford University Press. 6.
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  18. Matti Eklund (2011). Book Review. Quantifier Variance and Realism: Essays in Metaontology. Eli Hirsch. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Review.
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  19. Matti Eklund (2011). Recent Work on Vagueness. Analysis 71 (2):352-363.
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  20. Matti Eklund (2011). Truth. History and Philosophy of Logic 33 (1):106 - 108.
    History and Philosophy of Logic, Volume 33, Issue 1, Page 106-108, February 2012.
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  21. Matti Eklund (2011). The Philosophy of Philosophy. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (4):752-754.
    The second volume in the Blackwell Brown Lectures in Philosophy, this volume offers an original and provocative take on the nature and methodology of philosophy. Based on public lectures at Brown University, given by the pre-eminent philosopher, Timothy Williamson Rejects the ideology of the 'linguistic turn', the most distinctive trend of 20th century philosophy Explains the method of philosophy as a development from non-philosophical ways of thinking Suggests new ways of understanding what contemporary and past philosophers are doing.
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  22. Matti Eklund (2011). What Are Thick Concepts? Canadian Journal of Philosophy 41 (1):25-49.
    Many theorists hold that there is, among value concepts, a fundamental distinction between thin ones and thick ones. Among thin ones are concepts like good and right. Among concepts that have been regarded as thick are discretion, caution, enterprise, industry, assiduity, frugality, economy, good sense, prudence, discernment, treachery, promise, brutality, courage, coward, lie, gratitude, lewd, perverted, rude, glorious, graceful, exploited, and, of course, many others. Roughly speaking, thick concepts are value concepts with significant descriptive content. I will discuss a number (...)
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  23. Matti Eklund (2010). Book Review. The Philosophy of Philosophy. Timothy Williamson. [REVIEW] Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88:752-4.
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  24. Matti Eklund, Fictionalism. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  25. Matti Eklund (2010). Rejectionism About Truth. In Cory D. Wright & Nikolaj Jang Lee Linding Pedersen (eds.), New Waves in Truth. Palgrave Macmillan.
    I think it often happens, for various reasons, that philosophers defend radical views which, first, are too radical to be plausible, and second, are such that a less radical and more plausible view would satisfy the underlying motivations. Here is a historical example. The logical positivists famously sought to eliminate traditional metaphysics by arguing that the statements metaphysicians make are meaningless because of being unverifiable. Much of the ensuing discussion concerned whether verifiability is really necessary for meaningfulness. But clearly, even (...)
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  26. Matti Eklund (2010). Vagueness and Second-Level Indeterminacy. In Richard Dietz & Sebastiano Moruzzi (eds.), Cuts and Clouds: Vaguenesss, its Nature and its Logic. Oup Oxford.
  27. Matti Eklund (2009). Bad Company and Neo-Fregean Philosophy. Synthese 170 (3):393 - 414.
    A central element in neo-Fregean philosophy of mathematics is the focus on abstraction principles, and the use of abstraction principles to ground various areas of mathematics. But as is well known, not all abstraction principles are in good standing. Various proposals for singling out the acceptable abstraction principles have been presented. Here I investigate what philosophical underpinnings can be provided for these proposals; specifically, underpinnings that fit the neo-Fregean's general outlook. Among the philosophical ideas I consider are: general views on (...)
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  28. Matti Eklund (2009). Carnap and Ontological Pluralism. In David John Chalmers, David Manley & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press. 130--56.
    My focus here will be Rudolf Carnap’s views on ontology, as these are presented in the seminal “Empiricism, Semantics and Ontology” (1950). I will first describe how I think Carnap’s distinction between external and internal questions is best understood. Then I will turn to broader issues regarding Carnap’s views on ontology. With certain reservations, I will ascribe to Carnap an ontological pluralist position roughly similar to the positions of Eli Hirsch and the later Hilary Putnam. Then I turn to some (...)
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  29. Matti Eklund (2009). On Some Recent Criticisms of the 'Linguistic' Approach to Ontology. Dialectica 63 (3):313-323.
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  30. Matti Eklund (2009). Reality and Thought. In John Shand (ed.), Central Issues of Philosophy. Wiley-Blackwell.
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  31. Matti Eklund (2009). The Frege–Geach Problem and Kalderon's Moral Fictionalism. Philosophical Quarterly 59 (237):705-712.
    Mark Eli Kalderon has argued for a fictionalist variant of non-cognitivism. On his view, what the Frege–Geach problem shows is that standard non-cognitivism proceeds uncritically from claims about use to claims about meaning; if non-cognitivism's claims were solely about use it would be on safe ground as far as the Frege–Geach problem is concerned. I argue that Kalderon's diagnosis is mistaken: the problem concerns the non-cognitivist's account of the use of moral sentences too.
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  32. Matti Eklund (2008). Book Review. Metaphysics and the Representational Fallacy. Heather Dyke. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
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  33. Matti Eklund (2008). Deconstructing Ontological Vagueness. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 38 (1):117-140.
    I will here present a number of problems concerning the idea that there is ontological vagueness, and the related claim that appeal to this idea can help solve some vagueness-related problems. A theme underlying the discussion will be the distinction between vagueness specifically and indeterminacy more generally (and, relatedly, the distinction between ontological vagueness and ontological indeterminacy). Even if the world is somehow ontologically indeterminate it by no means follows that it is, properly speaking, ontologically vague.1..
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  34. Matti Eklund (2008). Putnam on Ontology. Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 95 (1):203-222.
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  35. Matti Eklund (2008). Review of Heather Dyke, Metaphysics and the Representational Fallacy. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2008 (11).
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  36. Matti Eklund (2008). The Picture of Reality as an Amorphous Lump. In Theodore Sider, John Hawthorne & Dean W. Zimmerman (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Metaphysics. Blackwell Pub.. 382--96.
    (1) Abstract objects. The nominalist (as the label is used today) denies that there exist abstract objects. The platonist holds that there are abstract objects. One example is numbers. The nominalist denies that there are numbers; the platonist typically affirms it.
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  37. Matti Eklund (2007). Book Review. Identity and Modality. Fraser MacBride. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
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  38. Matti Eklund (2007). Characterizing Vagueness. Philosophy Compass 2 (6):896–909.
    Philosophy Compass 2: 896-909. (Link to Philosophy Compass.).
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  39. Matti Eklund (2007). Meaning-Constitutivity. Inquiry 50 (6):559-574.
  40. Matti Eklund (2007). Review of Fraser MacBride (Ed.), Identity and Modality. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2007 (3).
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  41. Matti Eklund (2007). The Liar Paradox, Expressibility, Possible Languages. In J. C. Beall (ed.), Revenge of the Liar: New Essays on the Paradox. Oxford University Press.
    Here is the liar paradox. We have a sentence, (L), which somehow says of itself that it is false. Suppose (L) is true. Then things are as (L) says they are. (For it would appear to be a mere platitude that if a sentence is true, then things are as the sentence says they are.) (L) says that (L) is false. So, (L) is false. Since the supposition that (L) is true leads to contradiction, we can assert that (L) is (...)
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  42. Matti Eklund (2007). The Ontological Significance of Inscrutability. Philosophical Topics 35 (1-2):115-134.
    I shall here discuss some matters related to the so-called radical indeterminacy or inscrutability arguments due to, e.g., Willard v. O. Quine, Hilary Putnam, John Wallace and Donald Davidson.1 These are arguments that, on the face of it, demonstrate that there is radical indeterminacy in what the expressions in a theory refer to and in what the ontology of the theory is. I will use “inscrutability argument” as a general label for these arguments. My main topic – after I have (...)
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  43. David Liebesman & Matti Eklund (2007). Sider on Existence. Noûs 41 (3):519–528.
    In (2001), (2003), and elsewhere, Ted Sider presents two arguments concerning the existential quantifier which are justly central to the recent discussion of metaontology. What we will call Sider's indeterminacy argument is an attempted reductio of the suggestion that the existential quantifier might be semantically indeterminate. What we will call Sider's naturalness argument is an argument for the claim that the semantic value of the existential quantifier is the most eligible existence-like meaning there is, à la David Lewis' eligibility theory (...)
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  44. Matti Eklund (2006). Book Review. Vagueness in Context. Stewart Shapiro. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
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  45. Matti Eklund (2006). Finzione, indifferenza e ontologia. Rivista di Estetica 46 (32):71-92.
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  46. Matti Eklund (2006). Neo-Fregean Ontology. Philosophical Perspectives 20 (1):95–121.
    Neo-Fregeanism in the philosophy of mathematics consists of two main parts: the logicist thesis, that mathematics (or at least branches thereof, like arithmetic) all but reduce to logic, and the platonist thesis, that there are abstract, mathematical objects. I will here focus on the ontological thesis, platonism. Neo-Fregeanism has been widely discussed in recent years. Mostly the discussion has focused on issues specific to mathematics. I will here single out for special attention the view on ontology which underlies the neo-Fregeans’ (...)
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  47. Matti Eklund (2006). Review of Stewart Shapiro, Vagueness in Context. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2006 (5).
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  48. Matti Eklund (2006). Semantica e ontologia-Finzione, indifferenza e ontologia. Rivista di Estetica 32:71.
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  49. Matti Eklund (2006). Schiffer on Vagueness. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 87 (1):12–23.
    I go through, and criticize, Stephen Schiffer's account of vagueness and the sorites paradox. I discuss his notion of a happy-face solution to a paradox, his appeal to vagueness-related partial belief, his claim that indeterminacy is a psychological notion, and his view that the sorites premise and the inference rule of modus ponens are indeterminate.
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  50. Matti Eklund (2006). The Liar Paradox and Metaphysics. In Jurgis Skilters & Matti Eklund (eds.), Paradox: Logical, Cognitive and Communicative Aspects (Proceedings of the First International Symposium of Cognition, Logic and Communication). University of Latvia Press.
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