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Profile: Michael B. Burke (Indiana University Purdue University, Indianapolis)
  1. Michael B. Burke (1994). Preserving the Principle of One Object to a Place: A Novel Account of the Relations Among Objects, Sorts, Sortals, and Persistence Conditions. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 54 (3):591-624.
    The article provides a novel, conservative account of material constitution, one that employs sortal essentialism and a theory of dominant sortals. It avoids coinciding objects, temporal parts, relativizations of identity, mereological essentialism, anti-essentialism, denials of the reality of the objects of our ordinary ontology, and other radical departures from the metaphysic implicit in ordinary ways of thinking. Defenses of the account against important objections are found in Burke 1997, 2003, and 2004, as well as in the often neglected six paragraphs (...)
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  2. Michael B. Burke (1992). Copper Statues and Pieces of Copper: A Challenge to the Standard Account. Analysis 52 (1):12 - 17.
    On the most popular account of material constitution, it is common for a material object to coincide precisely with one or more other material objects, ones that are composed of just the same matter but differ from it in sort. I argue that there is nothing that could ground the alleged difference in sort and that the account must be rejected.
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  3. Michael B. Burke (1994). Dion and Theon: An Essentialist Solution to an Ancient Puzzle. Journal of Philosophy 91 (3):129-139.
    Dion is a full-bodied man. Theon is that part of him which consists of all of him except his left foot. What becomes of Dion and Theon when Dion’s left foot is amputated? Employing the doctrine of sortal essentialism, I defend a surprising answer last defended by Chrysippus: that Dion survives while the seemingly unscathed Theon perishes.
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  4.  52
    Michael B. Burke (2003). Is My Head a Person? In K. Petrus (ed.), On Human Persons. Heusenstamm Nr Frankfurt: Ontos Verlag 107-125.
    It is hard to see why the head and other brain-containing parts of persons are not themselves persons, or at least thinking, conscious beings. Some theorists have sought to reconcile us to the existence of thinking person-parts. Others have sought ways to avoid them, but by radical theories that abandon the metaphysic implicit in ordinary ways of thinking. This paper offers a novel, conservative solution, one on which the heads and other brain-containing parts of persons do exist but are neither (...)
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  5. Michael B. Burke (1997). Coinciding Objects: Reply to Lowe and Denkel. Analysis 57 (1):11–18.
  6. Michael B. Burke (2004). Dion, Theon, and the Many-Thinkers Problem. Analysis 64 (283):242–250.
    Dion is a full-bodied man. Theon is that part of him which consists of all of him except his left foot. What becomes of Dion and Theon when Dion’s left foot is amputated? Employing the doctrine of sortal essentialism, in Burke 1994 I defended a surprising position last defended by Chrysippus: that Dion survives while the seemingly unscathed Theon perishes. This paper defends that position against objections by Stone, Carter, Olson, and others. Most notably, I offer here a novel, conservative (...)
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  7. Michael B. Burke (2002). Objects and Persons. [REVIEW] Philosophical Review 111 (4):586-588.
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  8.  74
    Michael B. Burke (1980). Cohabitation, Stuff and Intermittent Existence. Mind 89 (355):391-405.
    I will try to establish that there are cases in which an ordinary material object exists intermittently. Afterwards there will be a few words about the consequences of acknowledging such cases, but what is of more interest, perhaps, is the route by which the conclusion is reached. When deciding among competing descriptions of the cases considered, I have tried to reduce to a minimum the role of intuitive judgement, and I have based several arguments on 'metaphysical principles'. These principles are (...)
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  9.  26
    Michael B. Burke (2000). The Staccato Run: A Contemporary Issue in the Zenonian Tradition. Modern Schoolman 78 (1):1-8.
    The “staccato run,” in which a runner stops infinitely often while running from one point to another, is a prototype of the “superfeat” (or "supertask”), that is, a feat involving the completion in a finite time of an infinite sequence of distinct, physically individuated acts. There is no widely accepted demonstration that superfeats are impossible logically, but I argue here, contra Grunbaüm, that they are impossible dynamically. Specifically, I show that the staccato run is excluded by Newton’s three laws of (...)
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  10.  65
    Michael B. Burke (1985). Spatial Analogues of 'Annihilation and Re-Creation'. Analysis 45 (1):24 - 29.
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  11.  29
    Michael B. Burke (1997). Persons and Bodies: How to Avoid the New Dualism. American Philosophical Quarterly 34 (4):457 - 467.
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  12.  64
    Michael B. Burke (1996). Tibbles the Cat: A Modern Sophisma. Philosophical Studies 84 (1):63 - 74.
    In this paper, I offer a novel and conservative solution to the puzzle of Tibbles the cat. I do not criticize the existing solutions or the theories within which they are embedded. I am content to offer an alternative, one that relies on the recently resurgent doctrine of Aristotelian essentialism. My solution, unlike some of its competitors, is applicable to the full range of cases in which, as with Tib and Tibbles, there is the threat of coinciding objects. In section (...)
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  13.  33
    Michael B. Burke (1996). Sortal Essentialism and the Potentiality Principle. Review of Metaphysics 49 (3):491 - 514.
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  14.  77
    Michael B. Burke (1984). Hume and Edwards on 'Why is There Something Rather Than Nothing?'. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 62 (4):355–362.
    Suppose that five minutes ago, to our astonishment, a healthy, full-grown duck suddenly popped into existence on the table in front of us. Suppose further that there was no first moment at which the duck existed but rather a last moment, T, at which it had yet to exist. Then for each moment t at which the duck has existed, there is an explanation of why the duck existed at t: there was a moment t’ earlier than t but later (...)
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  15.  2
    Michael B. Burke (1994). Dion and Theon: An Essentialist Solution to an Ancient Puzzle. Journal of Philosophy 91 (3):129-139.
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  16.  46
    Michael B. Burke (1987). Theodicy with a God of Limited Power: A Reply to McGrath. Analysis 47 (1):57 - 58.
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  17.  4
    Michael B. Burke (1985). Unstated Premises. Informal Logic 7 (2).
  18.  33
    Michael B. Burke (1983). Essentialism and the Identity of Indiscernables. Philosophy Research Archives 9:223-243.
    The paper formulates and defends a version of the Identity of Indiscernibles and demonstrates that it entails a non-trivial version of the doctrine of essentialism.
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  19.  16
    Michael B. Burke (1994). Denying the Antecedent: A Common Fallacy? Informal Logic 16 (1).
    An argumentative passage that might appear to be an instance of denying the antecedent will generally admit of an alternative interpretation, one on which the conditional contained by the passage is a preface to the argument rather than a premise of it. On this interpretation. which generally is a more charitable one, the conditional plays a certain dialectical role and, in some cases, a rhetorical role as well. Assuming only a very weak principle of exigetical charity, I consider what it (...)
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  20.  21
    Michael B. Burke (2000). The Impossibility of Superfeats. Southern Journal of Philosophy 38 (2):207-220.
    Is it logically possible to perform a "superfeat"? This is, is it logically possible to complete, in a finite time, an infinite sequence of distinct acts? In opposition to the received view, I argue that all superfeats have kinematic features that make them logically impossible.
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  21. Michael B. Burke (1999). Benardete's Paradox. Sorites 11:82-85.
    Graham Priest has focused attention on an intriguing but neglected paradox posed by José Benardete in 1964. Benardete viewed the paradox as a threat to the intelligibility of the spatial and temporal continua and offered several different versions of it. Priest has selected one of those versions and formalized it. Although Priest has succeeded nicely in sharpening the paradox, the version he chose to formalize has distracting and potentially problematic features that are absent from some of Benardete's other versions. I (...)
     
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  22. Michael B. Burke (1983). Identity and Origin. Dialogos 18 (41):59.
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  23.  18
    Michael B. Burke (1984). The Infinitistic Thesis. Southern Journal of Philosophy 22 (3):295-305.
  24.  11
    Michael B. Burke (1996). NABER on Embryo Splitting. Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 6 (2):210-211.
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  25. Michael B. Burke (2006). Logic and Proofs. Teaching Philosophy 29 (3):255.
    Logic and Proofs, developed at Carnegie Mellon, is the only instructional program that can support a computer-taught course (not just a computer-assisted course) in modern symbolic logic. I describe and assess the program. Then, drawing on my twenty years of experience, initially with Patrick Suppes’ Valid (no longer available), recently with Logic and Proofs, I discuss the very substantial benefits, as well as the challenges, when offering symbolic logic via a computer-taught course.
     
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  26. Michael B. Burke & Trenton Merricks (2002). Objects and Persons. Philosophical Review 111 (4):586.
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  27. Michael B. Burke (1976). On the Possibility of Infinity Machines. Dissertation, The University of Wisconsin - Madison
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