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Profile: Robert Williams (University of Leeds)
  1. Robert Williams, Aristotelian Indeterminacy and Partial Belief: Including Case Studies of the Open Future and Vague Survival.
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  2. Robert Williams, Bayesian Epistemology.
    Synthese 156 (3) (2007). Special issue ed. with Luc Bovens. With contributions by Max Albert, Branden Fitelson, Dennis Dieks, Igor Douven and Wouter Meijs, Alan Hájek, Colin Howson, James Joyce, and Patrick Suppes.
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  3. Robert Williams, Metaphysical Indeterminacy, Supervenience, and Emergence.
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  4. Robert Williams, On Sider on Naturalness.
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  5. Robert Williams, Aristotelian Indeterminacy and the Open Future.
    I explore the thesis that the future is open, in the sense that future contingents are neither true nor false. The paper is divided into three sections. In the first, I survey how the thesis arises on a variety of contemporary views on the metaphysics of time. In the second, I explore the consequences for rational belief of the ‘Aristotelian’ view that indeterminacy is characterized by truth-value gaps. In the third, I outline one line of defence for the Aristotelian against (...)
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  6. Robert Williams, Part-Intrinsic Survival.
    In some sense, survival seems to be an intrinsic matter. Whether or not you survive some event seems to depend on what goes on with you yourself —what happens in the environment shouldn’t make a difference. Likewise, being a person at a time seems intrinsic.
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  7. Robert Williams, Semantics for Nihilists.
    Motivations: From mereology (special composition question: Van Inwagen) From metaphysics (epiphenomenality of the macro: Merricks) From presupposition of (ontological) microphysicalism.
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  8. Robert Williams, An Argument for the Many Penultimate Draft.
    If one believes that vagueness is an exclusively representational phenomenon, one faces the problem of the many. In the vicinity of Kilimanjaro, there are many many ‘mountain candidates’ all, apparently, with more-or-less equal claim to be mountains. David Lewis has defended a radical claim: that all the billions of mountain candidates are mountains. This paper argues that the supervaluationist about vagueness should adopt Lewis’ proposal, on pain of losing their best explanation of the seductiveness of the sorites.
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  9. Robert Williams, Indeterminate Survival.
    Most views of personal identity allow that sometimes, facts of personal identity can be borderline or indeterminate. Bernard Williams argued that regarding questions of one’s own survival as borderline “had no comprehensible representation” in one’s emotions and expectations. Whether this is the case, I will argue, depends crucially on what account of indeterminacy is presupposed.
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  10. Robert Williams, Metaphysical Indeterminacy and Ontic Vagueness (Draft).
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  11. Robert Williams (forthcoming). Degree Supervaluational Logic. Review of Symbolic Logic.
    Supervaluationism is often described as the most popular semantic treatment of indeterminacy. There’s little consensus, however, about how to fill out the barebones idea to include a characterization of logical consequence. In a recent paper, Achille Varzi writes: it is pretty clear that there is not just one supervaluational semantics out there–there are lots of such semantics; and although it is true that they all exploit the same insight, their relative differences are by no means immaterial . . . a (...)
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  12. Robert Williams (forthcoming). Overcoming the Kantian Frame in Advance. The Owl of Minerva.
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  13. Robert Grant Williams (forthcoming). Reading the Parenthesis. Substance.
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  14. Robert I. Williams (forthcoming). Perceptual Play and Teaching the Aesthetics of Comedy: A Paradigm. Journal of Aesthetic Education.
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  15. Lee Walters & Robert Williams (2013). An Argument for Conjunction Conditionalization. Review of Symbolic Logic 6 (4):573-588.
    Are counterfactuals with true antecedents and consequents automatically true? That is, is Conjunction Conditionalization: if (X & Y), then (X > Y) valid? Stalnaker and Lewis think so, but many others disagree. We note here that the extant arguments for Conjunction Conditionalization are unpersuasive, before presenting a family of more compelling arguments. These arguments rely on some standard theorems of the logic of counterfactuals as well as a plausible and popular semantic claim about certain semifactuals. Denying Conjunction Conditionalization, then, requires (...)
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  16. James Wetzel, Leonard F. Wheat, Robert L. Wicks, Robert R. Williams & David Wolfsdorf (2013). Editions and Translations. Journal of the History of Philosophy 51 (3):503-505.
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  17. Robert R. Williams (2013). Goldman, Avery., Kant and the Subject of Critique: On the Regulative Role of the Psychological Idea. Review of Metaphysics 67 (1):164-165.
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  18. Robert R. Williams (2013). The Inseparability of Love and Anguish. In Angelica Nuzzo (ed.), Hegel on Religion and Politics. State University of New York Press. 133.
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  19. Robert E. Williams (2012). The Invention of International Relations Theory: Realism, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the 1954 Conference on Theory, Nicolas Guilhot, Ed. (New York: Columbia University Press, 2010), 299 Pp., $89.50 Cloth, $29.50 Paper. [REVIEW] Ethics and International Affairs 26 (2):284-286.
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  20. Robert R. Williams (2012). Tragedy, Recognition, and the Death of God: Studies in Hegel and Nietzsche. Oup Oxford.
    Robert R. Williams offers a bold new account of divergences and convergences in the work of Hegel and Nietzsche. He explores four themes - the philosophy of tragedy; recognition and community; critique of Kant; and the death of God - and explicates both thinkers' critiques of traditional theology and metaphysics.
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  21. Owen Flanagan & Robert Anthony Williams (2010). What Does the Modularity of Morals Have to Do With Ethics? Four Moral Sprouts Plus or Minus a Few. Topics in Cognitive Science 2 (3):430-453.
    Flanagan (1991) was the first contemporary philosopher to suggest that a modularity of morals hypothesis (MMH) was worth consideration by cognitive science. There is now a serious empirically informed proposal that moral competence is best explained in terms of moral modules-evolutionarily ancient, fast-acting, automatic reactions to particular sociomoral experiences (Haidt & Joseph, 2007). MMH fleshes out an idea nascent in Aristotle, Mencius, and Darwin. We discuss the evidence for MMH, specifically an ancient version, “Mencian Moral Modularity,” which claims four innate (...)
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  22. Robert E. Williams Jr (2010). Fiala, Andrew. The Just War Myth: The Moral Illusions of War. [REVIEW] Human Rights Review 11 (1):151-152.
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  23. Robert Williams (2010). Fundamental and Derivative Truths. Mind 119 (473):103-141.
    This article investigates the claim that some truths are fundamentally or really true — and that other truths are not. Such a distinction can help us reconcile radically minimal metaphysical views with the verities of common sense. I develop an understanding of the distinction whereby Fundamentality is not itself a metaphysical distinction, but rather a device that must be presupposed to express metaphysical distinctions. Drawing on recent work by Rayo on anti-Quinean theories of ontological commitments, I formulate a rigourous theory (...)
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  24. Robert C. Williams (2010). Confusing History. History and Theory 49 (2):304-309.
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  25. Robert L. Williams, Kathleen B. Aspiranti & Katherine R. Krohn (2010). Critical Thinking and Sociopolitical Values Reflective of Political Ideology. Inquiry 25 (3):22-30.
    Critical thinking measures have often been empirically associated with other cognitive dimensions (e.g., achievement test scores, IQ scores, exam scores) but seldom with sociopolitical perspectives. Consequently, the current study examined the relationship of critical thinking to sociopolitical values reflective of political ideology, namely respect for civil liberties, emphasis on national security, militarism, and support for the Iraq War. In a sample of 232 undergraduates attending a Southeastern university, critical thinking correlated significantly with respect for civil liberties (.19), emphasis on national (...)
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  26. Robert R. Williams (2010). Hegel's Concept of The True Infinite. The Owl of Minerva 42 (1-2):89-122.
    According to Hegel, the true infinite is the fundamental concept of philosophy. Yet despite this fact, there is absence of consensus concerning its meaning and significance. The true infinite challenges the currently dominant non-metaphysical interpretations of Hegel, as it challenged the dominance of the Kantian framework in its own day, specifically Kant’s attack on theology and his treatment of theology as a postulate of moralit y. Kant admits that the God-postulate has only subjective necessity and validity, and is an expression (...)
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  27. Robert R. Williams (2010). Hegel's True Infinity As Panentheism. The Owl of Minerva 42 (1-2):137-152.
    Hegel’s True Infinite is “well known” but there is little consensus concerning its meaning. The true infinite is introduced in Hegel’s deconstruction of traditional conceptions of quality, determinacy and reality as wholly positive and from which negation, limitation and determinacy are excluded. Everything is other than and unrelated to everything else. These assumptions yield the stubborn category of finitude as an absolute limit, and of God as abstract unknowable Beyond. But Hegel claims that every attempt to separate the infinite from (...)
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  28. Robert R. Williams (2010). G. W. F. Hegel, Robert F. Brown (Ed., Tr.), Lectures on the History of Philosophy 1825-6: Volume I: Introduction and Oriental Philosophy. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2010 (7).
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  29. Robert Williams (2009). 'Having a Laugh': Masculinities, Health and Humour. Nursing Inquiry 16 (1):74-81.
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  30. Robert Williams (2009). Vagueness, Conditionals and Probability. Erkenntnis 70 (2):151 - 171.
    This paper explores the interaction of well-motivated (if controversial) principles governing the probability conditionals, with accounts of what it is for a sentence to be indefinite. The conclusion can be played in a variety of ways. It could be regarded as a new reason to be suspicious of the intuitive data about the probability of conditionals; or, holding fixed the data, it could be used to give traction on the philosophical analysis of a contentious notion—indefiniteness. The paper outlines the various (...)
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  31. Robert R. Williams (2009). Bound by Recognition? Critical Horizons 10 (1):118-140.
     
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  32. Robert Williams (2008). The Price of Inscrutability. Noûs 42 (4):600 - 641.
  33. Robert Williams (2008). Chances, Counterfactuals, and Similarity. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 77 (2):385-420.
    John Hawthorne in a recent paper takes issue with Lewisian accounts of counterfactuals, when relevant laws of nature are chancy. I respond to his arguments on behalf of the Lewisian, and conclude that while some can be rebutted, the case against the original Lewisian account is strong.I develop a neo-Lewisian account of what makes for closeness of worlds. I argue that my revised version avoids Hawthorne’s challenges. I argue that this is closer to the spirit of Lewis’s first (non-chancy) proposal (...)
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  34. Robert Williams (2008). Gavagai Again. Synthese 164 (2):235 - 259.
    Quine (1960, "Word and object". Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, ch. 2) claims that there are a variety of equally good schemes for translating or interpreting ordinary talk. 'Rabbit' might be taken to divide its reference over rabbits, over temporal slices of rabbits, or undetached parts of rabbits, without significantly affecting which sentences get classified as true and which as false. This is the basis of his famous 'argument from below' to the conclusion that there can be no fact of the (...)
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  35. Robert Williams (2008). Multiple Actualities and Ontically Vague Identity. Philosophical Quarterly 58 (230):134-154.
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  36. Robert Williams (2008). Working Parts: Reply to Mellor. Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 83 (62):81-106.
    Two kinds of explanation might be put forward. The first goes like this: the necessary connection between the location of a whole and the location of its parts holds because the location of the whole is nothing but the collective location of its parts. The second style of explanation goes like this: the connection holds because what it is for a material whole to have something as a part, is (perhaps among other things) for the whole to contain the part.
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  37. Robert R. Williams (2008). Ricoeur on Recognition. European Journal of Philosophy 16 (3):467-473.
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  38. John Casciotti, Cynthia Ryan, Dean Gerald Sienko & Robert C. Williams (2007). Law at the Intersection of Civilian and Military Public Health Practice. Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 35:83-91.
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  39. Robert Williams (2007). Offers an Extended Meditation on the Relation Between Painting and Alchemy; the Exercise. In Diarmuid Costello & Jonathan Vickery (eds.), Art: Key Contemporary Thinkers. Berg. 14--11988.
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  40. Robert Williams (2006). An Argument for the Many. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 106 (1):411-419.
    If one believes that vagueness is an exclusively representational phenomenon, one faces the problem of the many. In the vicinity of Kilimanjaro, there are many many ‘mountain candidates’ all, apparently, with more-or-less equal claim to be mountains. David Lewis has defended a radical claim: that all the billions of mountain candidates are mountains. This paper argues that the supervaluationist about vagueness should adopt Lewis’ proposal, on pain of losing their best explanation of the seductiveness of the sorites.
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  41. Robert R. Williams (2006). Beyond Tradition and Modernity. The Owl of Minerva 37 (1):29-56.
    Although Hegel has been rediscovered frequently, few have focused on Hegel’s speculative theology. Since Hegel criticizes traditional theology, it is widely assumed that he must be an atheist. But Hegel rejects the alternatives of a fossilized orthodoxy and a post-religious secularity. Hegel’s speculative philosophy has profound significance for Christian theological reconstruction. This essay focuses on Hegel’s philosophy of religion as a philosophical theology in the post-Kantian, post-Enlightenment context. Hegel rejects philosophies of finitude as nihilistic. Second, it examines how Hegel’s attempt (...)
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  42. Robert R. Williams (2006). Hegel's Critique of Kant. The Owl of Minerva 38 (1/2):9-34.
    This essay examines Hegel’s critique of Kant’s concept of critical philosophy, set forth principally in his Phenomenology of Spirit and Encyclopedia. In the former Hegel presents a hermeneutical critique of Kant, to wit, the concept of critique presupposes a concept of knowledge construed as an instrument. On this assumption the “instrument” of knowledge is supposed to be examined apart from and in advance of its application. But Hegel objects that the underlying conception of knowledge as an instrument undermines the cognitive (...)
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  43. Robert R. Williams (2006). Review of Robert M. Wallace, Hegel's Philosophy of Reality, Freedom, and God. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2006 (1).
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  44. Robert W. Armstrong, Robert J. Williams & J. Douglas Barrett (2004). The Impact of Banality, Risky Shift and Escalating Commitment on Ethical Decision Making. Journal of Business Ethics 53 (4):365-370.
    This paper posits that organizational variables are the factors that lead to the moral decline of companies like Enron and Worldcom. The individuals involved created environments within the organizations that precipitated a spiral of unethical decision-making. It is proposed that at the executive level, it is the organizational factors associated with power and decision-making that have the critical influence on moral and ethical behavior. The study has used variables that were deemed to be surrogate measures of the ethical violations (OSHA (...)
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  45. Robert Williams (2003). Italian Renaissance Art and the Systematicity of Representation. Rinascimento 43:309-331.
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  46. Robert Williams (2003). Review of Will Dudley, Hegel, Nietzsche, and Philosophy: Thinking Freedom. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2003 (2).
  47. Robert J. Williams (2003). Women on Corporate Boards of Directors and Their Influence on Corporate Philanthropy. Journal of Business Ethics 42 (1):1 - 10.
    This study examined the relationship between the proportion of women serving on firms' boards of directors and the extent to which these same firms engaged in charitable giving activities. Using a sample of 185 Fortune 500 firms for the 1991-1994 time period, the results provide strong support for the notion that firms having a higher proportion of women serving on their boards do engage in charitable giving to a greater extent than firms having a lower proportion of women serving on (...)
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  48. Robert L. Williams, Sherry K. Bain & Susan L. Stockdale (2003). Role of Critical Thinking in Judging Accuracy and Sources of Claims Regarding Human Development. Inquiry 22 (4):65-72.
    Teacher-education students in a large Human Development course took a generic critical thinking test and 2 companion questionnaires related to the accuracy of human-development claims andperceived sources of information for evaluating those claims. Based on their initial critical thinking scores, some students were identified as high or low critical thinkers and subsequently compared ontheir evaluations of developmental claims and perceived sources of information for their evaluations. The critical thinking groups differed in the following respects: High critical thinkers better judged theaccuracy (...)
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  49. Robert L. Williams, Renee Oliver & Jessica L. Allin (2003). Knowledge and Critical Thinking as Course Predictors and Outcomes. Inquiry 22 (4):57-63.
    Pre- and postmeasures of course knowledge correlated more strongly and consistently with course performance variables (essay quizzes, course project, multiple-choice exams, and total course credit)than did pre- and postmeasures of generic critical thinking. In addition, the total sample (N =126) improved significantly on course knowledge from the pre- to the postassessment but changed minimally on critical thinking. The extent and pattern of change in critical thinking differed somewhat for students making high and low grades in the course. High-grade students achieved (...)
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  50. Ronael E. Eckman, Robert Williams & Craig Nagoshi (2002). Marital Assortment for Genetic Similarity. Journal of Biosocial Science 34 (4):511-523.
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