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Profile: Peter Alward (University of Lethbridge)
  1. Peter Alward, For the Ubiquity.
    Kania[1] has recently developed an argument which poses a serious challenge to the “ubiquity thesis†– the view that every literary narrative[2] necessarily has a fictional narrator.[3] Kania characterizes a fictional narrator as a (possibly non-human) agent who tells (or is responsible for) the narrative and who exists on “the same..
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  2. Peter Alward, Ignorance and Abortion Policy.
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  3. Peter Alward, Commentary on “A Meinongian View of Definite Descriptions”.
    My original reaction to Yosh’s paper was to grumble. It seemed to me to contain a number of terminological infelicities, unpersuasive arguments, and counterintuitive implications. And while I think that some of my superficial complaints are worth pointing out (and I can’t help myself), a commentary consisting only of grumbling would be neither interesting nor helpful. Paul Viminitz would describe such a commentary as “unseemly”. And so I revisited Yosh’s paper with a more sympathetic eye. My second reaction was to (...)
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  4. Peter Alward, Comments on David Johnston’s €œIdentity, Necessity, and Propositionsâ€.
               Johnston maintains that the notion of a proposition—a language independent (abstract) particular—can be dispensed with in philosophical semantics and replaced with that of a propositional act. A propositional act is a component of a speech act that is responsible for the propositional content of the speech act. Traditionally, it is thought that a propositional act yields the propositional content of a speech act by being an act of expressing a (...)
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  5. Peter Alward, Comments on Erin Eaker's.
    Eaker argues that there is no genuine ambiguity to be found between de re and de dicto readings or interpretations of belief sentences. She considers two ways characterizing the distinction: 1. Psychological characterization (a) De re belief sentences attribute de re belief to subjects (b) De dicto belief sentences attribute de dicto belief to subjects 2. Truth-conditional characterization (a) The preservation of subjects’ “ways of thinking” of objects is not required for the truth of de re belief sentences (b) The (...)
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  6. Peter Alward, Comments on Heidi Tiedke’s €Œis Knowledge Ever Constitutive of Freedom?€.
               According to Tiedke, in order for an act to be free it must satisfy two requirements: (PR) The agent must have been the source of the action. (PAP) It must have been possible for the agent to have done otherwise. Different accounts of freedom cash these conditions out in different ways. The Standard Compatibilist offers the following versions of these principles: (PRSC) The agent’s choice was a link in the (...)
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  7. Peter Alward, Comments on “If It Were the Case That Counterfactuals Behaved Differently in Indirect Reports, It Might Be the Case That Counterfactuals Are Context-Sensitive”.
    Tillman’s central thesis is that counterfactual conditionals are not context-sensitive: the propositions expressed (or semantically encoded) by counterfactual sentences do not vary with the contexts in which they are uttered.1 The main concern of Tillman’s paper is to show that arguments offered in support of the context-sensitivity of counterfactuals are unsound. In these comments, I am going to focus on the “variability argument” for context-sensitivity and Tillman’s response to it.
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  8. Peter Alward, Comments on Mark Kalderon's “The Open Question Argument, Frege's Puzzle, and Leibniz's Law”.
    A standard strategy for defending a claim of non-identity is one which invokes Leibniz’s Law. (1) Fa (2) ~Fb (3) (∀x)(∀y)(x=y ⊃ (∀P)(Px ⊃ Py)) (4) a=b ⊃ (Fa ⊃ Fb) (5) a≠b In Kalderon’s view, this basic strategy underlies both Moore’s Open Question Argument (OQA) as well as (a variant formulation of) Frege’s puzzle (FP). In the former case, the argument runs from the fact that some natural property—call it “F-ness”—has, but goodness lacks, the (2nd order) property of its (...)
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  9. Peter Alward, Comments on Noa Latham’s €œIs There a Conception of Causation That Gives Rise to a Problem of Mental Causation?€.
    Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Latham defends the following argument against problems that putatively arise for mental causation: 1. A problem for mental causation arises for a conception of causation only if it attributes a causal role to physical but not mental entities.
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  10. Peter Alward, Comments on Patrick McGivern's “Parts of Properties: Realization as Decomposition”.
    My main reaction to MCGivern’s paper was one of dialectical puzzlement. Block argues that, Macro Non-Reduction: [all] macro properties are irreducible to the micro properties on which they supervene..
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  11. Peter Alward, COMMENTARY: “Second-Order Predication and the Metaphysics of Properties” by Andrew Egan.
    Egan argues against Lewis’s view that properties are sets of actual and possible individuals and in favour of the view that they are functions from worlds to extensions (sets of individuals). Egan argues that Lewis’s view implies that 2nd order properties are never possessed contingently by their (1st order) bearers, an implication to which there are numerous counter-examples. And Egan argues that his account of properties is more commensurable with the role they play as the semantic values of predicates than (...)
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  12. Peter Alward, Reading, Writing, and Speech Act Theory: Prolegomena to Any Future Logic of Fiction.
    meaning of a proper name is simply its referent.[1] This thesis, however, brings with it a whole host of problems. One particularly thorny difficulty is that of negative existentials, sentences of the form ‘N does not exist’ (where ‘N’ is a proper name). Intuitively, some such sentences are true, but the direct reference theory seems to imply that they must be either false or meaningless. After all, if the meaning of a name is just its referent, then a sentence such (...)
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  13. Peter Alward, The Backdoor and Other Stories.
               Much has been written of late concerning the relative virtues and vices of correspondence and deflationary theories of Truth. One might go so far as to say the issue is currently “hotâ€. What is troubling, however, is that it is not always entirely clear exactly what distinguishes the different conceptions of truth. Characterizations of the distinction are often vague and sometimes vary from writer to writer. Let me give a (...)
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  14. Peter Alward, Chapter Four: Truncated Story-Listening.
    In this chapter, a positive account of reader engagement with fiction will developed. According to this picture, the basic reader attitude towards fictional works is imaginative. But, in my view, engagement with fiction does not require any de se imagining on the part of readers; it requires only de dicto and de re imagining. The account of reader engagement is modelled on the attitudes of story-listeners to the stories to which they listen and the performers who tell them. In engaged (...)
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  15. Peter Alward, Comments on “Individuating Lexical Types And.
    In this commentary, I am going to focus on the earlier sections of Lapointe’s paper in which she defends an interpretation of Frege’s account of the individuation of lexical types. According to Lapointe, Frege rejects the view that two signs – concrete particulars – belong to the same lexical type just in case they are tokens of the same orthographic or phonographic type. Instead Frege’s position is that two signs belong to the same lexical type “only if they are recognized (...)
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  16. Peter Alward, Speech Acts and Fictionality.
    A common approach to drawing boundary between fiction and non-fiction is by appeal to the kinds of speech acts performed by authors of works of the respective categories. Searle, for example, takes fiction to be the product of illocutionary pretense of various kinds on the part of authors and non-fiction to be the product of genuine illocutionary action.1 Currie, in contrast, takes fiction to be the product of sui generis fictional illocutionary action on the part of authors and non-fiction to (...)
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  17. Peter Alward, Truth in Fiction.
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  18. Peter Alward, Was “Pluto is a Planet” Ever True?
    In 2006, much to the dismay of many amateur (and some professional) astronomers, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) voted to adopt a definition of „planet‟ which excluded Pluto from the extension of the term. Since its discovery in 1930, Pluto has been designated one of the nine planets in our solar system – veritable celestial royalty among the thousands of objects that make up this system. But with the discovery of a number of objects of similar size and orbit to (...)
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  19. Peter Alward, For the Ubiquity.
    Kania[1] has recently developed an argument which poses a serious challenge to the “ubiquity thesis†– the view that every literary narrative[2] necessarily has a fictional narrator.[3] Kania characterizes a fictional narrator as a (possibly non-human) agent who tells (or is responsible for) the narrative and who exists on “the same..
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  20. Peter Alward (2014). Butter Knives and Screwdrivers: An Intentionalist Defense of Radical Constructivism. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 72 (3):247-260.
    Robert Stecker has posed a dilemma for the constructivist theory of interpretation: either interpretations consist of statements with truth values or they do not. Stecker argues that either way, they cannot change the meaning of an artwork. In this article, I argue contra Stecker that if interpretations consist of meaning declarations rather than statements, they can change the meanings of the objects toward which they are directed, where whether they so consist is largely a function of the interpreter's intentions. Hence, (...)
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  21. Peter Alward (2012). Transparent Representation: Photography and the Art of Casting. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 70 (1):9-18.
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  22. Peter Alward (2011). Description, Disagreement, and Fictional Names. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 41 (3):423-448.
    In this paper, a theory of the contents of fictional names — names of fictional people, places, etc. — will be developed.1 The fundamental datum that must be addressed by such a theory is that fictional names are, in an important sense, empty: the entities to which they putatively refer do not exist.2 Nevertheless, they make substantial contributions to the truth conditions of sentences in which they occur. Not only do such sentences have truth conditions, sentences differing only in the (...)
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  23. Peter Alward (2010). Word-Sculpture, Speech Acts, and Fictionality. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 68 (4):389-399.
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  24. Peter Alward (2009). Cluster Theory: Resurrection. Dialogue 48 (02):269-.
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  25. Peter Alward (2009). The Inessential Quasi-Indexical. Philosophical Studies 145 (2):235 - 255.
    In this paper, I argue, contra Perry, that the existence of locating beliefs does not require the abandonment of the analysis of belief as a relation between subjects and propositions. I argue that what the "problem of the essential indexical" reveals is that a complete explanation of behaviour requires both an explanation of the type of behaviour the agent engaged in and an explanation of why she engaged in it in the circumstances that she did. And I develop an account (...)
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  26. Peter Alward (2009). Onstage Illocution. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 67 (3):321 - 331.
    performances. But comparatively little work has been by way of elucidating such speech acts,[1] and without an adequate account of them, such comparisons will ultimately prove to be empty. In this paper, I will defend an illocutionary pretense view, according to which actors pretend to perform various kinds of illocutionary acts rather than genuinely performing them. This is, of course, a fairly intuitive position to take. What I want to argue, however, is that this is the route one must take: (...)
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  27. Peter Alward (2009). The (Rump) Parliamentarian's Reply. Dialogue 48 (03):665-.
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  28. Peter Alward (2009). That's the Fictional Truth, Ruth. Acta Analytica 25 (3):347-363.
    Fictional truth is commonly analyzed in terms of the speech acts or propositional attitudes of a teller. In this paper, I investigate Lewis’s counterfactual analysis in terms of felicitous narrator assertion, Currie’s analysis in terms of fictional author belief, and Byrne’s analysis in terms of ideal author invitations to make-believe—and find them all lacking. I propose instead an analysis in terms of the revelations of an infelicitous narrator.
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  29. Peter Alward (2008). Mopes, Dopes, and Tropes. Dialogue 47 (1):53-64.
    ABSTRACT: A popular strategylor resolving Kim 's exclusion problem is to suggest that mental and physical property tropes are identical despite the non-identity of the mental and physical properties themselves. I argue that mental and physical tropes can be identified without losing the dispositional character of mentality only if a dual-character hypothesis regarding the intrinsic characters of tropes is endorsed. But even with this assumption, the causaI efficacy of the wrong dispositions is secured.RÉSUMÉ: On résout habituellement le problème de l'exclusion (...)
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  30. Peter Alward (2008). Mopes, Dopes, and Tropes: A Critique of the Trope Solution to the Problem of Mental Causation. Dialogue 47 (01):53-.
    ABSTRACT: A popular strategylor resolving Kim 's exclusion problem is to suggest that mental and physical property tropes are identical despite the non-identity of the mental and physical properties themselves. I argue that mental and physical tropes can be identified without losing the dispositional character of mentality only if a dual-character hypothesis regarding the intrinsic characters of tropes is endorsed. But even with this assumption, the causaI efficacy of the wrong dispositions is secured.RÉSUMÉ: On résout habituellement le problème de l'exclusion (...)
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  31. Peter Alward (2007). For the Ubiquity of Nonactual Fact-Telling Narrators. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 65 (4):401–404.
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  32. Peter Alward (2007). Ignorance, Indeterminacy, and Abortion Policy. Journal of Value Inquiry 41 (2-4):183-200.
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  33. Peter Alward, Are Functional Properties Causally Potent?
    Jaegwon Kim has recently[1] argued that a solution to the exclusion argument against the intelligibility of mental causation is to found if mental properties can be shown to be reducible to physical properties.
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  34. Peter Alward (2006). Leave Me Out of It: De Re, but Not de Se, Imaginative Engagement with Fiction. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 64 (4):451–459.
    I have been dissatisfied with Walton’s make-believe model of appreciator engagement with fiction ever since my first encounter with it as a graduate student.1 What I have always objected to is not the suggestion that such engagement is broadly speaking imaginative; rather, it is the suggestion that it specifically involves de se imaginative activity on the part of appreciators. That is, while I concede that appreciators imagine (de re) of the fictional works they experience that they are thus and so, (...)
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  35. Peter Alward (2005). A Neo-Hintikkan Theory of Attitude Ascriptions. Kriterion 19:1-11.
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  36. Peter Alward (2005). Between the Lines of Age: Reflections on the Metaphysics of Words. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 86 (2):172–187.
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  37. Peter Alward (2005). Mario De Caro and David Macarthur, Eds., Naturalism in Question Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 25 (2):101-104.
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  38. Peter Alward (2005). Varieties of Believed-World Semantics. Philosophia 32 (1-4):51-72.
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  39. Peter Alward (2004). Is Phenomenal Pain the Primary Intension of 'Pain'? Metaphysica 5 (1):15-28.
    two-dimensional modal framework introduced by Evans [2] and developed by Davies and Humberstone. [3] This framework provides Chalmers with a powerful tool for handling the most serious objection to conceivability arguments for dualism: the problem of..
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  40. Peter Alward (2004). Mad, Martian, but Not Mad Martian Pain. Sorites 15 (December):73-75.
    Functionalism cannot accommodate the possibility of mad pain—pain whose causes and effects diverge from those of the pain causal role. This is because what it is to be in pain according to functionalism is simply to be in a state that occupies the pain role. And the identity theory cannot accommodate the possibility of Martian pain—pain whose physical realization is foot-cavity inflation rather than C-fibre activation (or whatever physiological state occupies the pain-role in normal humans). After all, what it is (...)
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  41. Peter Alward (2004). Review of D. M. Armstrong, Truth and Truthmakers. [REVIEW] Disputatio 1 (17):74-78.
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  42. Peter Alward (2004). The Spoken Work. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 62 (4):331-337.
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  43. Peter Alward (2003). Correspondence Via the Backdoor and Other Stories. Disputatio 14:1 - 19.
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  44. Peter Alward (2003). Fregecide. Dialogue 42 (02):275-.
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  45. Peter Alward, Making Mind Matter More or Less.
    There comes a time in every young philosopher.
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  46. Peter Alward (2001). Fiona Cowie, What's Within? Nativism Reconsidered, Philosophy of Mind Series. Minds and Machines 11 (3):448-451.
  47. Peter Alward (2000). Simple and Sophisticated “Naive” Semantics. Dialogue 39 (01):101-.
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