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Profile: Ori Simchen (University of British Columbia)
  1. Ori Simchen (2013). Token-Reflexivity. Journal of Philosophy 110 (4):173-193.
    Token-reflexivity is commonly understood as reference of a token to a token of which it is a part, proper or not. It may be compared with its familiar formal kin – Gödelian reflexivity. In this paper the possibility of the latter type of construction in a formal setting provides a stark point of contrast with token-reflexivity understood as token self-reference, a purported species of natural phenomena, with the token-reflexives themselves understood as the bearers of self-reference. I argue that there is (...)
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  2. Ori Simchen (2013). The Barcan Formula in Metaphysics. Theoria 78 (3):375-392.
    The Barcan formula (BF) is commonly paraphrased as the schematic conditional that if it is possible that there be a phi then something or other is possibly a phi. It is validated by the most straightforward systems of quantified modal logic. It is also widely considered to pose a threat to the commonsensical metaphysical view that there are no non-actual (or ‘merely possible’) things. I show how BF can be cleared of such a charge by construing it as a bridge (...)
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  3. Ori Simchen (2012). Necessary Intentionality: A Study in the Metaphysics of Aboutness. Oxford University Press.
    This book argues that words and thoughts are typically about whatever they are about necessarily rather than contingently. The argument proceeds by articulating a requisite modal background and then bringing this background to bear on cognitive matters, notably the intentionality of cognitive episodes and states. The modal picture that emerges from the first two chapters is a strongly particularist one whereby possibilities reduce to possibilities for particular things (or pluralities thereof) where the latter are determined by the natures of the (...)
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  4. Ori Simchen (2012). Necessity in Reference. In William P. Kabasenche Michael O.’Rourke & Matthew H. Slater (eds.), Reference and Referring. MIT.
    I take up a question raised by David Kaplan at the very end of his 1990 paper "Words": Is it possible for a name that in fact names a given individual to have named a different individual? I argue for a negative answer to Kaplan's question via the essentialist claims that, first, it is of the nature of a referring token of a name to be produced by a particular referential intention, and, second, that it is of the nature of (...)
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  5. Ori Simchen (2012). Philosophy of Language: Key Thinkers by Barry Lee (Ed.). [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Review.
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  6. Ori Simchen (2010). Polyadic Quantification Via Denoting Concepts. Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 51 (3):373-381.
    The question of the origin of polyadic expressivity is explored and the results are brought to bear on Bertrand Russell's 1903 theory of denoting concepts, which is the main object of criticism in his 1905 "On Denoting." It is shown that, appearances to the contrary notwithstanding, the background ontology of the earlier theory of denoting enables the full-blown expressive power of first-order polyadic quantification theory without any syntactic accommodation of scopal differences among denoting phrases such as 'all φ', 'every φ', (...)
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  7. Ori Simchen (2008). Comment on David Enoch's 'Luck Between Morality, Law, and Justice'. Theoretical Inquiries in Law 9 (1):8-11.
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  8. Ori Simchen (2007). Metasemantics and Objectivity. In Enrique Villanueva (ed.), Law: Metaphysics, Meaning, and Objectivity, Social, Political, and Legal Philosophy, Volume 2.
    It is shown that the most plausible metasemantics for a typical common noun provides materials for a transcendental argument for objectivity: the very possibility that a typical common noun should have its significance requires that there be an objective measure of similarity among instances of the relevant kind.
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  9. Ori Simchen (2006). Actualist Essentialism and General Possibilities. Journal of Philosophy 103 (1):5-26.
    Particular possibilities -- such as that this particular chair occupy the only vacant corner of my office -- are commonly supposed to depend on what actual things there are and what they are like, whereas general possibilities -- such as that some chair or other occupy some vacant corner or other of some office or other -- are commonly supposed not to be so dependent. I articulate a different conception whereby general possibilities are no less determined by what actual things (...)
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  10. Ori Simchen (2006). Actualist Essentialism and General Properties. Journal of Philosophy 103 (1):5-26.
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  11. Ori Simchen (2004). On the Impossibility of Nonactual Epistemic Possibilities. Journal of Philosophy 101 (10):527-554.
    A problem inherited from Kripke is the reconciliation of commitments to various necessities with conflicting intuitions of contingency, intuitions that things "might have turned out otherwise." Kripke's reconciliation strategy is to say that while it is necessary that X is Y, and so impossible for X not to be Y, it is nevertheless epistemically possible for X not to be Y. But what are nonactual epistemic possibilities? Several answers are considered and it is concluded that scenarios adduced to explain away (...)
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  12. Jules L. Coleman & Ori Simchen (2003). 'Law'. Legal Theory 9 (1):1-41.
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  13. Ori Simchen (2003). Meaningfulness and Contingent Analyticity. Noûs 37 (2):278–302.
    That expressions should have their contents can seem paradigmatically contingent. But it can also seem a priori that expressions in one's own language should have their contents to the extent that instances of disquotation, such as "Socrates" refers to Socrates' and "cat" refers to cats', are trivially true. I attempt to reconcile these conflicting intuitions about meaningfulness by examining semantic and metasemantic details of linguistic reflexivity. I argue that instances of disquotation are contingent analytic in Kaplan's sense, and bring this (...)
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  14. Ori Simchen (2001). Rules and Mention. Philosophical Quarterly 51 (205):455-473.
  15. Ori Simchen (1999). Quotational Mixing of Use and Mention. Philosophical Quarterly 50 (196):325-336.
    Quotation is employed in mentioning linguistic items with varying degrees of specificity depending upon context, occasionally in the service of multiple purposes. It is also often employed in cases where the mentioned items are simultaneously being used in their ordinary roles. I argue that against appearances to the contrary, the recently proposed formal disambiguation approach to quotation fails to account for this quotational mixing of use and mention. I further argue that, given the ubiquity of the mixing in question, the (...)
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