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Profile: Murali Ramachandran
Profile: Murali Ramachandran (University of Witwatersrand)
  1. Murali Ramachandran, Four Anti-Luminosity Strategies.
    Timothy Williamson (2000) reckons that hardly any mental state is luminous, i.e. is such that if one were in it, then one would invariably be in a position to know that one was. To this end he presents an argument against the luminosity of feeling cold— which he claims generalizes to other phenomenal states, such as e.g. being in pain. As we shall see, however, no fewer than four lines of argument for that conclusion can be extracted from Williamson’s remarks. (...)
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  2. Murali Ramachandran, The Ambiguity Thesis Vs. Kripke's Defence of Russell: Further Developments.
    Kripke (1977) presents an argument designed to show that the considerations in Donnellan (1966) concerning attributive and referential uses of (definite) descriptions do not, by themselves, refute Russell’s (1905) unitary theory of description sentences (RTD), which takes (utterances of) them to express purely general, quantificational, propositions. Against Kripke, Marga Reimer (1998) argues that the two uses do indeed reflect a semantic ambiguity (an ambiguity at the level of literal truth conditions). She maintains a Russellian (quantificational) analysis of utterances involving attributively (...)
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  3. Murali Ramachandran, Anti-Luminosity.
    Timothy Williamson (2000) reckons that hardly any mental state is luminous, i.e. is such that if one were in it, then one would invariably be in a position to know that one was. This paper examines an argument he presents against the luminosity of feeling cold, which he claims generalizes to other phenomenal states, such as e.g. being in pain. As we shall see, the argument fails. However, our deliberations do yield two anti-luminosity results: a simple refutation of the claim (...)
     
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  4. Murali Ramachandran, Frege's Objection to the Metalinguistic View.
    identity sentences let us call them, can be informative. [2] But if, as intuition suggests, identity is a (binary) relation between objects, which holds between precisely every object and itself, then sentences of the form ‘a=a’ and ‘a=b’, if true, would seem to affirm precisely the same thing of precisely the same object. The question arises: how, then, can someone can find one identity sentence more informative than another?
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  5. Murali Ramachandran, Ganeri's Defence of Russell (and the Path Back to Strawson).
    (1) The table is covered with books. (2) There is exactly one table and it is covered with books.
     
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  6. Murali Ramachandran, Re-Thinking Lewis's Analysis of Counterfactuals.
    This paper considers six comparatively neglected problems for David Lewis’s (1973; 1979) account of counterfactual conditionals (counterfactuals). Four, we shall see, can be tackled without major compromises. The remaining two objections, however, do demand a re-appraisal of Lewis’s project. One casts doubt on the account’s explanatory virtues and drives a wedge between what a counterfactual statement..
     
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  7. Murali Ramachandran, Williamson's Argument Against the KK-Principle.
    Timothy Williamson (2000 ch. 5) presents a reductio against the luminosity of knowing, against, that is, the so-called KK-principle: if one knows p, then one knows (or is at least in a position to know) that one knows p.1 I do not endorse the principle, but I do not think Williamson’s argument succeeds in refuting it. My aim here is to show that the KK-principle is not the most obvious culprit behind the contradiction Williamson derives.
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  8. Simon Langford & Murali Ramachandran (2013). The Products of Fission, Fusion, and Teletransportation: An Occasional Identity Theorist's Perspective. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (1):105 - 117.
    Advocates of occasional identity have two ways of interpreting putative cases of fission and fusion. One way?we call it the Creative view?takes fission to involve an object really dividing (or being replicated), thereby creating objects which would not otherwise have existed. The more ontologically parsimonious way takes fission to involve merely the ?separation? of objects that were identical before: strictly speaking, no object actually divides or is replicated, no new objects are created. In this paper we recommend the Creative approach (...)
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  9. Murali Ramachandran (2012). The KK-Principle, Margins for Error, and Safety. Erkenntnis 76 (1):121-136.
    This paper considers, and rejects, three strategies aimed at showing that the KK-principle fails even in most favourable circumstances (all emerging from Williamson’s Knowledge and its Limits ). The case against the final strategy provides positive grounds for thinking that the principle should hold good in such situations.
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  10. Simon Langford & Murali Ramachandran (2011). Occasional Identity: A Tale of Two Approaches. Analytic Philosophy 52 (3):175-187.
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  11. Murali Ramachandran (2010). The Impossibility of Inverted Reasoners. Acta Analytica 25 (4):499-502.
    An ‘inverted’ reasoner is someone who finds the inferences we find easy, inversely difficult, and those that we find difficult, inversely easy. The notion was initially introduced by Christopher Cherniak in his book, Minimal Rationality, and appealed to by Stephen Stich in The Fragmentation of Reason. While a number of difficulties have been noted about what reasoning would amount to for such a reasoner, what has not been brought out in the literature is that such a reasoner is in fact (...)
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  12. Murali Ramachandran (2009). Anti-Luminosity: Four Unsuccessful Strategies. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (4):659-673.
    In Knowledge and Its Limits Timothy Williamson argues against the luminosity of phenomenal states in general by way of arguing against the luminosity of feeling cold, that is, against the view that if one feels cold, one is at least in a position to know that one does. In this paper I consider four strategies that emerge from his discussion, and argue that none succeeds.
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  13. Murali Ramachandran (2009). Descriptions with an Attitude Problem. Philosophical Quarterly 59 (237):721-723.
    It is well known that Russell's theory of descriptions has difficulties with descriptions occurring within desire reports. I consider a flawed argument from such a case to the conclusion that descriptions have a referring use, some responses to this argument on behalf of the Russellian, and finally rejoinders to these responses which press the point home.
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  14. Murali Ramachandran (2008). Descriptions and Pressupositions: Strawson Vs. Russel. South African Journal of Philosophy 27 (3):242-257.
    A Russellian theory of (definite) descriptions takes an utterance of the form ‘The F is G' to express a purely general proposition that affirms the existence of a (contextually) unique F: there is exactly one F [which is C] and it is G. Strawson, by contrast, takes the utterer to presuppose in some sense that there is exactly one salient F, but this is not part of what is asserted; rather, when the presupposition is not met the utterance simply fails (...)
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  15. Murali Ramachandran (2008). Kripkean Counterpart Theory. Polish Journal of Philosophy 2 (2):89-106.
    David Lewis’s counterpart-theoretic semantics for quantified modal logic is motivated originally by worries about identifying objects across possible worlds; the counterpart relation is grounded more cautiously on comparative similarity. The possibility of contingent identity is an unsought -- and in some eyes, unwelcome -- consequence of this approach. In this paper I motivate a Kripkean counterpart theory by way of defending the prior, pre-theoretical, coherence of contingent directness. Contingent identity follows for free. The theory is Kripkean in that the counterpart (...)
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  16. Murali Ramachandran (2006). How Believing Can Fail to Be Knowing. Theoria 21 (2):185-194.
    This paper defends a simple, externalist account of knowledge, incorporating familiar conditions mentioned in the literature, and responds to Timothy Williamson’s charge that any such analysis is futile because knowledge is semantically un-analyzable. The response, in short, is that even though such an account may not offer a reductive analysis of knowledge-by way of more basic, non-circular concepts-it still has an explanatory advantage over Williamson’s own position: it explains how belief can fail to be knowledge.
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  17. Murali Ramachandran (2004). A Counterfactual Analysis of Indeterministic Causation. In J. Collins, E. J. Hall & L. A. Paul (eds.), Causation and Counterfactuals. MIT Press.
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  18. Murali Ramachandran (2004). Interdeterministic Causation and Varieties of Chance-Raising. In Phil Dowe & Paul Noordhof (eds.), Cause and Chance: Causation in an Indeterministic World. Routledge.
     
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  19. Simon Langford & Murali Ramachandran (2000). Rigidity, Occasional Identity and Leibniz' Law. Philosophical Quarterly 50 (201):518-526.
    André Gallois (1998) attempts to defend the occasional identity thesis (OIT), the thesis that objects which are distinct at one time may nonetheless be identical at another time, in the face of two influential lines of argument against it. One argument involves Kripke’s (1971) notion of rigid designation and the other, Leibniz’s law (affirming the indiscernibility of identicals). It is reasonable for advocates of (OIT) to question the picture of rigid designation and the version of Leibniz’s law that these arguments (...)
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  20. Murali Ramachandran (2000). Noordhof on Probabilistic Causation. Mind 109 (434):309-313.
    In a recent article, Paul Noordhof (1999) has put forward an intriguing account of causation intended to work under the assumption of indeterminism. I am going to present four problems for the account, three which challenge the necessity of the conditions he specifies, and one which challenges their joint-sufficiency.
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  21. Murali Ramachandran (2000). Rigidity, Occasional Identity and Leibniz' Law. Philosophical Quarterly 50 (201):518 - 526.
    André Gallois (1998) attempts to defend the occasional identity thesis (OIT), the thesis that objects which are distinct at one time may nonetheless be identical at another time, in the face of two influential lines of argument against it. One argument involves Kripke’s (1971) notion of rigid designation and the other, Leibniz’s law (affirming the indiscernibility of identicals). It is reasonable for advocates of (OIT) to question the picture of rigid designation and the version of Leibniz’s law that these arguments (...)
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  22. Jonardon Ganeri, Paul Noordhof & Murali Ramachandran (1998). For a (Revised) PCA-Analysis. Analysis 58 (1):45–47.
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  23. Murali Ramachandran (1998). Sortal Modal Logic and Counterpart Theory. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 76 (4):553 – 565.
  24. Murali Ramachandran (1998). The M-Set Analysis of Causation: Objections and Responses. Mind 107 (426):465-471.
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  25. Murali Ramachandran (1997). A Counterfactual Analysis of Causation. Mind 106 (422):263-277.
    On David Lewis's original analysis of causation, c causes e only if c is linked to e by a chain of distinct events such that each event in the chain (counter-factually) depends on the former one. But this requirement precludes the possibility of late pre-emptive causation, of causation by fragile events, and of indeterministic causation. Lewis proposes three different strategies for accommodating these three kinds of cases, but none of these turn out to be satisfactory. I offer a single analysis (...)
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  26. Jonardon Ganeri, Paul Noordhof & Murali Ramachandran (1996). Counterfactuals and Preemptive Causation. Analysis 56 (4):219–225.
    David Lewis modified his original theory of causation in response to the problem of ‘late preemption’ (see 1973b; 1986b: 193-212). However, as we will see, there is a crucial difference between genuine and preempted causes that Lewis must appeal to if his solution is to work. We argue that once this difference is recognized, an altogether better solution to the preemption problem presents itself.
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  27. Murali Ramachandran (1996). The Ambiguity Thesis Versus Kripke's Defence of Russell. Mind and Language 11 (4):371-387.
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  28. Murali Ramachandran (1996). McDermott on Causation: A Counter-Example. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 74 (2):328 – 329.
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  29. Murali Ramachandran (1995). Bach on Behalf of Russell. Analysis 55 (4):283 - 287.
    An utterance of a sentence involving an incomplete (definite) description, ‘the F’, where the context—even taking the speaker’s intentions into account—does not determine a unique F, would be unintelligible. But an utterance (in the same context) of the corresponding Russellian paraphrase would not be unintelligible. So I urged in ‘A Strawsonian objection to Russell’s theory of descriptions’ (ANALYSIS 53, 1993, pp. 209-12). I compared an utterance of (1) The table is covered with books. with an utterance of (1)’s Russellian paraphrase..
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  30. Murali Ramachandran (1995). Methodological Reflections on Two Kripkean Strategies. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 95:67 - 81.
    Aims. Saul Kripke’s (1977) argument defending Russell’s theory of (definite) descriptions (RTD) against the possible objection that Donnellan’s (1966) distinction between attributive and referential uses of descriptions marks a semantic ambiguity has been highly influential.1 Yet, as I hope you’ll be persuaded, Kripke’s line of reasoning— in particular, the ‘thought-experiment’ it involves—has not been duly explored. In section II, I argue that while Kripke’s argument does ward off a fairly ill-motivated ambiguity theory, it is far from clear whether it would (...)
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  31. Murali Ramachandran (1993). A Strawsonian Objection to Russell's Theory of Descriptions. Analysis 53 (4):209 - 212.
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  32. Murali Ramachandran (1993). Restricted Rigidity: The Deeper Problem. Mind 102 (405):157-158.
    André Gallois’ (1993) modified account of restrictedly rigid designators (RRDs) does indeed block the objection I made to his original account (Gallois 1986; Ramachandran 1992). But, as I shall now show, there is a deeper problem with his approach which his modification does not shake off. The problem stems from the truth of the following compatibility claim: (CC) A term’s restrictedly rigidly designating (RR-designating) an object x is compatible with it designating an object y in a world W where x (...)
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  33. Murali Ramachandran (1992). Conditionals and Transitivity: Response to Lowe. Analysis 52 (2):68 - 77.
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  34. Murali Ramachandran (1992). On Restricting Rigidity. Mind 101 (401):141-144.
    In this note I revive a lingering (albeit dormant) account of rigid designation from the pages of Mind with the aim of laying it to rest. Why let a sleeping dog lie when you can put it down? André Gallois (1986) has proposed an account of rigid designators that allegedly squares with Saul Kripke’s (1980) characterisation of them as terms which designate the same object in all possible worlds, but on which, contra Kripke, identity sentences involving rigid designators may be (...)
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  35. Murali Ramachandran (1992). The Rigidity of Proper Names. Philosophical Studies 33:189-200.
  36. Murali Ramachandran (1990). Contingent Identity in Counterpart Theory. Analysis 50 (3):163-166.
    A slight modification to the translation scheme for David Lewis's counterpart theory I put forward in 'An Alternative Translation Scheme for Counterpart Theory' (Analysis 49.3 (1989)) is proposed. The motivation for this change is that it makes for a more plausible account of contingent identity. In particular, contingent identity is accommodated without admitting the contingency of self-identity.
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  37. Murali Ramachandran (1990). Unsuccessful Revisions of CCT. Analysis 50 (3):173 - 177.
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  38. Murali Ramachandran (1989). An Alternative Translation Scheme for Counterpart Theory. Analysis 49 (3):131 - 141.
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  39. Murali Ramachandran (1989). Sense and Schmidentity. Philosophical Quarterly 39 (157):463-471.
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