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Profile: Daniel Nolan (Australian National University)
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  1. Daniel Nolan & Alexander Sandgren (2014). Creationism and Cardinality. Analysis 74 (4):615-622.
    Creationism about fictional entities requires a principle connecting what fictions say exist with which fictional entities really exist. The most natural way of spelling out such a principle yields inconsistent verdicts about how many fictional entities are generated by certain inconsistent fictions. Avoiding inconsistency without compromising the attractions of creationism will not be easy.
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  2.  2
    Daniel Nolan (2005). David Lewis. Acumen Publishing.
    A seminal introduction to the greatest metaphysician since Leibniz.
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  3. Daniel Nolan (1997). Impossible Worlds: A Modest Approach. Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 38 (4):535-572.
    Reasoning about situations we take to be impossible is useful for a variety of theoretical purposes. Furthermore, using a device of impossible worlds when reasoning about the impossible is useful in the same sorts of ways that the device of possible worlds is useful when reasoning about the possible. This paper discusses some of the uses of impossible worlds and argues that commitment to them can and should be had without great metaphysical or logical cost. The paper then provides an (...)
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  4. Daniel Nolan, Greg Restall & Caroline West (2005). Moral Fictionalism Versus the Rest. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83 (3):307 – 330.
    In this paper we introduce a distinct metaethical position, fictionalism about morality. We clarify and defend the position, showing that it is a way to save the 'moral phenomena' while agreeing that there is no genuine objective prescriptivity to be described by moral terms. In particular, we distinguish moral fictionalism from moral quasi-realism, and we show that fictionalism possesses the virtues of quasi-realism about morality, but avoids its vices.
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  5. Daniel Nolan (2014). Hyperintensional Metaphysics. Philosophical Studies 171 (1):149-160.
    In the last few decades of the twentieth century there was a revolution in metaphysics: the intensional revolution. Many metaphysicians rejected the doctrine, associated with Quine and Davidson, that extensional analyses and theoretical resources were the only acceptable ones. Metaphysicians embraced tools like modal and counterfactual analyses, claims of modal and counterfactual dependence, and entities such as possible worlds and intensionally individuated properties and relations. The twenty-first century is seeing a hypterintensional revolution. Theoretical tools in common use carve more finely (...)
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  6. Rachael Briggs & Daniel Nolan (2015). Utility Monsters for the Fission Age. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 96 (2):n/a-n/a.
    One of the standard approaches to the metaphysics of personal identity has some counter-intuitive ethical consequences when combined with maximising consequentialism and a plausible doctrine about aggregation of consequences. This metaphysical doctrine is the so-called ‘multiple occupancy’ approach to puzzles about fission and fusion. It gives rise to a new version of the ‘utility monster’ problem, particularly difficult problems about infinite utility, and a new version of a Parfit-style ‘repugnant conclusion’. While the article focuses on maximising consequentialism for simplicity, the (...)
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  7. C. S. Jenkins & Daniel Nolan (2012). Disposition Impossible. Noûs 46 (4):732-753.
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  8.  76
    Daniel Nolan (2015). The A Posteriori Armchair. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (2):211-231.
    A lot of good philosophy is done in the armchair, but is nevertheless a posteriori. This paper clarifies and then defends that claim. Among the a posteriori activities done in the armchair are assembling and evaluating commonplaces; formulating theoretical alternatives; and integrating well-known past a posteriori discoveries. The activity that receives the most discussion, however, is the application of theoretical virtues to choose philosophical theories: the paper argues that much of this is properly seen as a posteriori.
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  9. Lawrence Nolan (2012). Malebranche on Sensory Cognition and "Seeing As". Journal of the History of Philosophy 50 (1):21-52.
    Nicolas Malebranche Famously holds that we see all things in the physical world by means of ideas in God. This is the doctrine of Vision in God. In his initial formulation of the doctrine in the first edition of the Search After Truth , Malebranche seems to posit ideas of particular physical objects in God, such as the idea of the sun or the idea of a tree. However, in Elucidations of the Search published four years later he insists that (...)
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  10.  21
    Daniel Nolan (2015). Noncausal Dispositions. Noûs 49 (3):425-439.
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  11. Rachael Briggs & Daniel Nolan (2012). Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know. Analysis 72 (2):314-316.
    Tracking accounts of knowledge formulated in terms of counterfactuals suffer from well known problems. Examples are provided, and it is shown that moving to a dispositional tracking theory of knowledge avoids three of these problems.
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  12.  4
    K. A. Nolan & A. Caramazza (1982). Unconscious Perception of Meaning: A Failure to Replicate. Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society 20 (1):23-26.
  13. Daniel Nolan (2006). Vagueness, Multiplicity and Parts. Noûs 40 (4):716–737.
    There’s an argument around from so-called “linguistic theories of vagueness”, plus some relatively uncontroversial considerations, to powerful metaphysical conclusions. David Lewis employs this argument to support the mereological principle of unrestricted composition, and Theodore Sider employs a similar argument not just for unrestricted composition but also for the doctrine of temporal parts. This sort of argument could be generalised, to produce a lot of other less palatable metaphysical conclusions. However, arguments to Lewis’s and Sider’s conclusions on the basis of considerations (...)
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  14.  56
    Daniel Patrick Nolan (2002). Topics in the Philosophy of Possible Worlds. Routledge.
    This book discusses a range of important issues in current philosophical work on the nature of possible worlds. Areas investigated include the theories of the nature of possible worlds, general questions about metaphysical analysis and questions about the direction of dependence between what is necessary or possible and what could be.
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  15. Daniel Nolan (2011). The Extent of Metaphysical Necessity. Philosophical Perspectives 25 (1):313-339.
    A lot of philosophers engage in debates about what claims are “metaphysically necessary”, and a lot more assume with little argument that some classes of claims have the status of “metaphysical necessity”. I think we can usefully replace questions about metaphysical necessity with five other questions which each capture some of what people may have had in mind when talking about metaphysical necessity. This paper explains these five other questions, and then discusses the question “how much of metaphysics is metaphysically (...)
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  16.  91
    Daniel Nolan (2003). Defending a Possible-Worlds Account of Indicative Conditionals. Philosophical Studies 116 (3):215-269.
    One very popular kind of semantics for subjunctive conditionals is aclosest-worlds account along the lines of theories given by David Lewisand Robert Stalnaker. If we could give the same sort of semantics forindicative conditionals, we would have a more unified account of themeaning of ``if ... then ...'' statements, one with manyadvantages for explaining the behaviour of conditional sentences. Such atreatment of indicative conditionals, however, has faced a battery ofobjections. This paper outlines a closest-worlds account of indicativeconditionals that does better (...)
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  17.  68
    Daniel Nolan, Modal Fictionalism. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Questions about necessity (or what has to be, or what cannot be otherwise) and possibility (or what can be, or what could be otherwise) are questions about modality. Fictionalism is an approach to theoretical matters in a given area which treats the claims in that area as being in some sense analogous to fictional claims: claims we do not literally accept at face value, but which we nevertheless think serve some useful function. However, despite its name, “Modal Fictionalism” in its (...)
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  18.  21
    Justine Nolan & Luke Taylor (2009). Corporate Responsibility for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: Rights in Search of a Remedy? Journal of Business Ethics 87 (2):433 - 451.
    It is no longer a revelation that companies have some responsibility to uphold human rights. However, delineating the boundaries of the relationship between business and human rights is more vexed. What is it that we are asking corporations to assume responsibility for and how far does that responsibility extend? This article focuses on the extent to which economic, social and cultural rights fall within a corporation's sphere of responsibility. It then analyses how corporations may be held accountable for violations of (...)
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  19. Rachael Briggs & Daniel Nolan (2012). Epistemic Dispositions. Logos and Episteme 3 (4):629-636.
    We reply to recent papers by John Turri and Ben Bronner, who criticise the dispositionalised Nozickian tracking account we discuss in “Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know.” We argue that the account we suggested can handle the problems raised by Turri and Bronner. In the course of responding to Turri and Bronner’s objections, we draw three general lessons for theories of epistemic dispositions: that epistemic dispositions are to some extent extrinsic, that epistemic dispositions can have manifestation conditions concerning circumstances where (...)
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  20. Rachel Briggs & Daniel Nolan (2012). Epistemic Dispositions. Reply to Turri and Bronner. Logos and Episteme 3 (4):629-636.
    We reply to recent papers by John Turri and Ben Bronner, who criticise the dispositionalised Nozickian tracking account we discuss in “Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know.” We argue that the account we suggested can handle the problems raised by Turri and Bronner. In the course of responding to Turri and Bronner’s objections, we draw three general lessons for theories of epistemic dispositions: that epistemic dispositions are to some extent extrinsic, that epistemic dispositions can have manifestation conditions concerning circumstances where (...)
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  21.  87
    Daniel Nolan (1997). Quantitative Parsimony. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 48 (3):329-343.
    In this paper, I motivate the view that quantitative parsimony is a theoretical virtue: that is, we should be concerned not only to minimize the number of kinds of entities postulated by our theories (i. e. maximize qualitative parsimony), but we should also minimize the number of entities postulated which fall under those kinds. In order to motivate this view, I consider two cases from the history of science: the postulation of the neutrino and the proposal of Avogadro's hypothesis. I (...)
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  22. John Hawthorne & Daniel Nolan (2006). What Would Teleological Causation Be? In Metaphysical Essays. Oxford University Press
    As is well known, Aristotelian natural philosophy, and many other systems of natural philosophy since, have relied heavily on teleology and teleological causation. Somehow, the purpose or end of an obj ect can be used to predict and explain what that object does: once you know that the end of an acorn is to become an oak, and a few things about what sorts of circumstances are conducive to the attainment of this end, you can predict a lot about the (...)
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  23.  83
    Daniel Nolan (2001). What's Wrong With Infinite Regresses? Metaphilosophy 32 (5):523-538.
    It is almost universally believed that some infinite regresses are vicious, and also almost universally believed that some are benign. In this paper I argue that regresses can be vicious for several different sorts of reasons. Furthermore, I claim that some intuitively vicious regresses do not suffer from any of the particular aetiologies that guarantee viciousness to regresses, but are nevertheless so on the basis of considerations of parsimony. The difference between some apparently benign and some apparently vicious regresses, then, (...)
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  24. Daniel Nolan (2009). Platitudes and Metaphysics. In David Braddon-Mitchell & Robert Nola (eds.), Conceptual Analysis and Philosophical Naturalism. MIT Press
    One increasingly popular technique in philosophy might be called the "platitudes analysis": a set of widely accepted claims about a given subject matter are collected, adjustments are made to the body of claims, and this is taken to specify a “role” for the phenomenon in question. (Perhaps the best-known example is analytic functionalism about mental states, where platitudes about belief, desire, intention etc. are together taken to give us a "role" for states to fill if they are to count as (...)
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  25.  25
    Daniel Nolan (2014). The Question of Moral Ontology. Philosophical Perspectives 28 (1):201-221.
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  26.  2
    Matthew Czarny, Ruth Faden, Marie Nolan, Edwin Bodensiek & Jeremy Sugarman (2008). Response to Open Peer Commentaries on “Medical and Nursing Students' Television Viewing Habits: Potential Implications for Bioethics”. American Journal of Bioethics 8 (12):1-1.
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  27.  8
    M. Nolan (1962). Ehe in Dieser Zeit. Augustinianum 2 (2):452-453.
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  28.  11
    Daniel P. Nolan (2010). Metaphysical Language, Ordinary and Peter van Inwagen's Material Beings. Humana.Mente 13:237-246.
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  29.  13
    Daniel Nolan (2015). Personification and Impossible Fictions. British Journal of Aesthetics 55 (1):57-69.
    Impossible fictions are not just the creations of puzzle-seeking philosophers or artists experimenting with the limits of fiction. Impossibilities can be found in relatively mundane fiction as well. This article argues that the device of personification, especially of abstract entities such as death or duty, yields impossible fictions, arguing against a number of strategies that might be tried to show that these cases of personification do not yield impossibilities.
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  30. Daniel Nolan (2008). Finite Quantities. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 108 (1part1):23-42.
    Quantum Mechanics, and apparently its successors, claim that there are minimum quantities by which objects can differ, at least in some situations: electrons can have various “energy levels” in an atom, but to move from one to another they must jump rather than move via continuous variation: and an electron in a hydrogen atom going from -13.6 eV of energy to -3.4 eV does not pass through states of -10eV or -5.1eV, let along -11.1111115637 eV or -4.89712384 eV.
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  31.  55
    Lawrence Nolan (ed.) (2011). Primary and Secondary Qualities: The Historical and Ongoing Debate. Oxford University Press.
    The essays collected here cover a wide range of topics, including the foundation for the distinction, the question of whether or not it is metaphysical or ...
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  32.  40
    Lawrence Nolan (1997). Reductionism and Nominalism in Descartes's Theory of Attributes. Topoi 16 (2):129-140.
  33. Daniel Nolan, Is Stalnaker Inconsistent About Indicative Conditionals?
    Stalnaker's 1975 motivates an account of the truth conditions of indicative conditionals that seems in tension with the truth-conditions he offers. This paper discusses how best to resolve this tension.
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  34.  12
    Daniel Nolan (2006). Selfless Desires. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (3):665-679.
    final version in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 2006 73.3: 665-679.
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  35.  39
    Daniel Nolan (2008). Properties and Paradox in Graham Priest's "Towards Non-Being". [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 76 (1):191 - 198.
    forthcoming in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
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  36.  19
    Daniel Nolan (2014). The Dangers of Pragmatic Virtue. Inquiry 57 (5-6):623-644.
    Many people want to hold that some theoretical virtues—simplicity, elegance, familiarity or others—are only pragmatic virtues. That is, these features do not give us any more reason to think a theory is true, or close to true, but they justify choosing one theoretical option over another because they are desirable for some other, practical purpose. Using pragmatic virtues in theory choice apparently brings with it a dilemma: if we are deciding what to accept on the basis of considerations that are (...)
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  37.  52
    Daniel Nolan (1997). Three Problems for “Strong” Modal Fictionalism. Philosophical Studies 87 (3):259-275.
  38. Daniel Nolan (2004). Classes, Worlds and Hypergunk. The Monist 87 (3):303-321.
    The question of what truths are necessary in the broadest possible sense is a difficult one to answer, as is the question of what the limits are to what is possible. (Most people would see these two questions as different sides of the same coin, of course, since many think the question of what is possible is just the question of what is not necessarily ruled out). We have three general sorts of strategies for determining whether something is necessary (or (...)
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  39. Daniel Nolan (2007). Contemporary Metaphysicians and Their Traditions. Philosophical Topics 35 (1-2):1-18.
    When invited to consider the methodology of contemporary metaphysics, quite a number of procedures spring to mind as part of the metaphysician's toolkit. These include: eliciting and relying on intuitions; solving location problems and using “conceptual analysis”; inference to the best theory, both on internal metaphysical grounds and drawing from the theoretical reaches of the sciences; working on topics clearly close to, or even overlapping, those of other areas of inquiry using techniques of those other areas; achieving coherence with other (...)
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  40.  34
    Daniel Nolan (2011). Categories and Ontological Dependence. The Monist 94 (2):277-301.
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  41. Daniel Nolan (1996). Recombination Unbound. Philosophical Studies 84 (2-3):239 - 262.
    This paper discusses the principle of recombination for possible worlds. It argues that arguments against unrestricted recombination offered by Forrest and Armstrong and by David Lewis fail, but a related argument is a challenge, and recommends that we accept an unrestricted principle of recombination and the conclusion that possible worlds form a proper class.
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  42.  60
    Daniel Nolan, Greg Restall & Caroline West, Moral Fictionalism.
    What would morality have to be like in order to answer to our everyday moral concepts'? What are we committed to when we make moral claims such as "female infibulation is wrong"; or "we ought give money to famine relief"; or "we have a duty to not to harm others", and when we go on to argue about these sorts of claims'? It has seemed to many — and it seems plausible to us — that when we assert and argue (...)
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  43. Daniel Nolan (2013). Why Historians (and Everyone Else) Should Care About Counterfactuals. Philosophical Studies 163 (2):317-335.
    Abstract There are at least eight good reasons practicing historians should concern themselves with counterfactual claims. Furthermore, four of these reasons do not even require that we are able to tell which historical counterfactuals are true and which are false. This paper defends the claim that these reasons to be concerned with counterfactuals are good ones, and discusses how each can contribute to the practice of history. Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-19 DOI 10.1007/s11098-011-9817-z Authors Daniel Nolan, School of Philosophy, (...)
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  44. Daniel Nolan (2005). Fictionalist Attitudes About Fictional Matters. In Mark Eli Kalderon (ed.), Fictionalism in Metaphysics. Clarendon Press 204.
    A pressing problem for many non-realist1 theories concerning various specific subject matters is the challenge of making sense of our ordinary propositional attitude claims related to the subject in question. Famously in the case of ethics, to take one example, we have in ordinary language prima facie ascriptions of beliefs and desires involving moral properties and relationships. In the case, for instance, of “Jason believes that Kylie is virtuous”, we appear to have a belief which takes Kylie to be a (...)
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  45.  8
    C. S. Jenkins & Daniel Nolan (2008). Liar-Like Paradox and Object Language Features. American Philosophical Quarterly 45 (1):67 - 73.
    forthcoming in American Philosophical Quarterly. We argue that it would seem to be a mistake to blame Liar-like paradox on certain features of the object language, since the effect can be created with very minimal object languages that contain none of the usual suspects (truth-like predicates, reference to their own truth-bearers, negation, etc.).
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  46.  6
    Hyacinth Nolan (1953). Les Sciences Et la Sagesse. Philosophical Studies 3:165-167.
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  47. Daniel Nolan, Hale's Dilemma.
    Bob Hale in Hale 1995b posed a dilemma for modal fictionalism (more specifically, Rosen's version of modal fictionalism). A modal fictionalist who maintains the version outlined in Rosen 1990 believes that the fiction of possible worlds (PW, to use Rosen and Hale's abbreviation) is not literally true. The question arises, however, about its modal status. Is it necessarily false, or contingently false? In either case, Hale argues, the modal fictionalist is in trouble. Should the modal fictionalist claim that the story (...)
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  48.  49
    Lawrence Nolan (1997). The Ontological Status of Cartesian Natures. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 78 (2):169–194.
    In the Fifth Meditation, Descartes makes a remarkable claim about the ontological status of geometrical figures. He asserts that an object such as a triangle has a 'true and immutable nature' that does not depend on the mind, yet has being even if there are no triangles existing in the world. This statement has led many commentators to assume that Descartes is a Platonist regarding essences and in the philosophy of mathematics. One problem with this seemingly natural reading is that (...)
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  49.  48
    Daniel Nolan (2006). Selfless Desires. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (3):665–679.
    final version in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 2006 73.3: 665-679.
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  50.  6
    Paul Nolan (1965). Art and Moral Values in the Courtroom. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 39:217-227.
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