8 found
  1. Michael Fara (2005). Dispositions and Habituals. Noûs 39 (1):43–82.
    Objects have dispositions. As Nelson Goodman put it, “a thing is full of threats and promises”. But sometimes those threats go unfulfilled, and the promises unkept. Sometimes the dispositions of objects fail to manifest themselves, even when their conditions of manifestation obtain. Pieces of wood, disposed to burn when heated, do not burn when heated in a vacuum chamber. And pastries, disposed to go bad when left lying around too long, won’t do so if coated with lacquer and put on (...)
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  2. Michael Fara (2008). Masked Abilities and Compatibilism. Mind 117 (468):843 - 865.
    An object's disposition to A in circumstances C is masked if circumstances C obtain without the object Aing. This paper explores an analogous sense in which abilities can be masked, and it uses the results of this exploration to motivate an analysis of agents' abilities in terms of dispositions. This analysis is then shown to provide the resources to defend a version of the Principle of Alternate Possibilities against Frankfurt-style counterexamples. Although this principle is often taken to be congenial to (...)
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  3. Michael Fara & Timothy Williamson (2005). Counterparts and Actuality. Mind 114 (453):1-30.
    Many philosophers, following David Lewis, believe that we should look to counterpart theory, not quantified modal logic, as a means of understanding modal discourse. We argue that this is a mistake. Significant parts of modal discourse involve either implicit or explicit reference to what is actually the case, raising the question of how talk about actuality is to be represented counterpart-theoretically. By considering possible modifications of Lewis's counterpart theory, including actual modifications due to Graeme Forbes and Murali Ramachandran, we argue (...)
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    Michael Fara, Dispositions. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    The glass vase on my desk is fragile. It should be handled with care because it it is likely to shatter or crack if it is knocked, dropped, or otherwise treated roughly. The vase has certain dispositions, for example the disposition to shatter when dropped. But what is this disposition? It seems on the one hand to be a perfectly real property, a genuine respect of similarity common to glass vases, china cups, ancient manuscripts, and anything else fragile. Yet on (...)
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  5. Michael Fara (2010). Knowability and the Capacity to Know. Synthese 173 (1):53 - 73.
    This paper presents a generalized form of Fitch's paradox of knowability, with the aim of showing that the questions it raises are not peculiar to the topics of knowledge, belief, or other epistemic notions. Drawing lessons from the generalization, the paper offers a solution to Fitch's paradox that exploits an understanding of modal talk about what could be known in terms of capacities to know. It is argued that, in rare cases, one might have the capacity to know that p (...)
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  6. Michael Fara (2001). Dispositions and Their Ascriptions. Dissertation, Princeton University
    The central question addressed in this dissertation is, What, in the most general terms, is required for an object to have a disposition? In the formal mode, this is just the question, What are the truth conditions of disposition ascriptions, sentences of the form "N is disposed to M when C"? The dissertation begins by criticizing existing answers to this question, answers which consist in accounts of disposition ascriptions according to which they entail conditionals of one form or another. By (...)
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  7. Michael Fara, The Paradox of Believability.
    Consider a superagent, a being with extraordinary rational capactities. Not only are a superagent’s beliefs closed under entailment, but a superagent also has a wonderful kind of introspective awareness: whenever she believes that she doesn’t believe something, she is right—she doesn’t believe it. A superagent, then, is a being who satisfies the following two principles: (I) If p entails q, and if S believes p, then S believes q. (II) If S believes that she doesn’t believe p, then S doesn’t (...)
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  8. Michael Fara, How Moore Beat the Skeptic.
    One afternoon in 1939, G. E. Moore held up his hands. He proceeded to make a certain gesture, first with his right hand and next with his left, while uttering the words, “Here is one hand and here is another.” Moore famously claimed to have thereby proved the existence of external things.
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