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  1.  84
    Roy Sorensen (2015). Fictional Theism. Analysis 75 (4):539-550.
    Creationists believe that C. K. Chesterton created Father Brown in his detective stories. Since creating implies a creation, Father Brown exists. Atheists object that the same reasoning could prove the existence of God. But creationists such as Jonathan Schaffer insist atheists do believe that God exists. Serious metaphysics rarely concerns existence. The disagreement between the theist and the atheist is about the nature of God, not His existence. Schaffer underestimates the religious imagination. There could be a religion that explicitly regarded (...)
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  2. Roy A. Sorensen (1988). Blindspots. Oxford University Press.
    Sorensen here offers a unified solution to a large family of philosophical puzzles and paradoxes through a study of "blindspots": consistent propositions that cannot be rationally accepted by certain individuals even though they might by true.
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  3.  56
    Roy A. Sorensen (2001). Vagueness and Contradiction. Oxford University Press.
    Roy Sorenson offers a unique exploration of an ancient problem: vagueness. Did Buddha become a fat man in one second? Is there a tallest short giraffe? According to Sorenson's epistemicist approach, the answers are yes! Although vagueness abounds in the way the world is divided, Sorenson argues that the divisions are sharp; yet we often do not know where they are. Written in Sorenson'e usual inventive and amusing style, this book offers original insight on language and logic, the way world (...)
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  4. Roy A. Sorensen (2008). Seeing Dark Things: The Philosophy of Shadows. Oxford University Press.
    The eclipse riddle -- Seeing surfaces -- The disappearing act -- Spinning shadows -- Berkeley's shadow -- Para-reflections -- Para-refractions : shadowgrams and the black drop -- Goethe's colored shadows -- Filtows -- Holes in the light -- Black and blue -- Seeing in black and white -- We see in the dark -- Hearing silence.
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  5. Roy A. Sorensen (1992). Thought Experiments. Oxford University Press.
    Sorensen presents a general theory of thought experiments: what they are, how they work, what are their virtues and vices. On Sorensen's view, philosophy differs from science in degree, but not in kind. For this reason, he claims, it is possible to understand philosophical thought experiments by concentrating on their resemblance to scientific relatives. Lessons learned about scientific experimentation carry over to thought experiment, and vice versa. Sorensen also assesses the hazards and pseudo-hazards of thought experiments. Although he grants that (...)
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  6.  33
    Roy A. Sorensen (1992). Thought Experiments and the Epistemology of Laws. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 22 (1):15-44.
  7.  5
    Roy Sorensen (2016). Unicorn Atheism. Noûs 50 (3).
    Kripshe treats ‘god’ as an empty natural kind term such as ‘unicorn’. She applies Saul Kripke's fresh views about empty natural kinds to ‘god’. Metaphysically, says Kripshe, there are no possible worlds in which there are gods. Gods could not have existed, given that they do not actually exist and never did. Epistemologically, godlessness is an a posteriori discovery. Kripshe dismisses the gods in the same breath that she dismisses mermaids. Semantically, the perspective Kripshe finds most perspicacious, no counterfactual situation (...)
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  8. Roy Sorensen (2007). Bald-Faced Lies! Lying Without the Intent to Deceive By. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 88 (2):251-264.
    Surprisingly, the fact that the speaker is lying is sometimes common knowledge between everyone involved. Strangely, we condemn these bald-faced lies more severely than disguised lies. The wrongness of lying springs from the intent to deceive – just the feature missing in the case of bald-faced lies. These puzzling lies arise systematically when assertions are forced. Intellectual duress helps to explain another type of non-deceptive false assertion : lying to yourself. In the end, I conclude that the apparent intensity of (...)
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  9. Roy Sorensen (2001). Vagueness and Contradiction. Oxford University Press Uk.
    Roy Sorensen presents a lively original treatment of the ancient problem of vagueness. According to his epistemicist approach, the answer to questions like 'Did Buddha become a fat man in one second?' and 'Is there a tallest short giraffe?' is yes! There may seem to be vagueness in the way the world is divided up, but Sorensen argues that the divisions are in fact sharp-it's just that we often don't know where they are, and so find this hard to believe. (...)
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  10.  70
    Roy A. Sorensen (2003). A Brief History of the Paradox: Philosophy and the Labyrinths of the Mind. Oxford University Press.
    Can God create a stone too heavy for him to lift? Can time have a beginning? Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Riddles, paradoxes, conundrums--for millennia the human mind has found such knotty logical problems both perplexing and irresistible. Now Roy Sorensen offers the first narrative history of paradoxes, a fascinating and eye-opening account that extends from the ancient Greeks, through the Middle Ages, the Enlightenment, and into the twentieth century. When Augustine asked what God was doing before (...)
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  11.  67
    Roy A. Sorensen (1998). Yablo's Paradox and Kindred Infinite Liars. Mind 107 (425):137-155.
    This is a defense and extension of Stephen Yablo's claim that self-reference is completely inessential to the liar paradox. An infinite sequence of sentences of the form 'None of these subsequent sentences are true' generates the same instability in assigning truth values. I argue Yablo's technique of substituting infinity for self-reference applies to all so-called 'self-referential' paradoxes. A representative sample is provided which includes counterparts of the preface paradox, Pseudo-Scotus's validity paradox, the Knower, and other enigmas of the genre. I (...)
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  12. Christopher Boorse & Roy A. Sorensen (1988). Ducking Harm. Journal of Philosophy 85 (3):115-134.
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  13. Roy A. Sorensen (1994). A Thousand Clones. Mind 103 (409):47-54.
  14.  90
    Roy Sorensen (2013). The Twin Towers Riddle. Philosophical Studies 162 (1):109-117.
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  15.  30
    Roy Sorensen (2013). The Symmetry Problem. In Fred Feldman Ben Bradley (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Death. 234.
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  16. Roy A. Sorensen (1988). Dogmatism, Junk Knowledge, and Conditionals. Philosophical Quarterly 38 (153):433-454.
  17. Roy Sorensen (2009). Meta-Agnosticism: Higher Order Epistemic Possibility. Mind 118 (471):777-784.
    In ‘Epistemic Modals’ (2007), Seth Yalcin proposes Stalnaker-style semantics for epistemic possibility. He is inspired by John MacFarlane’s ingenious defence of relativism, in which claims of epistemic possibility are made rigidly from the perspective of the assessor’s actual stock of information (rather than from the speaker’s knowledge base or that of his audience or community). The innovations of MacFarlane and Yalcin independently reinforce the modal collapse espoused by Jaakko Hintikka in his 1962 epistemic logic (which relied on the implausible KK (...)
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  18. Roy A. Sorensen (1994). Symposium: Vagueness and Sharp Boundaries: A Thousand Clones. Mind 103 (409):47-54.
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  19.  42
    Roy A. Sorensen (2004). We See in the Dark. Noûs 38 (3):456-480.
    Do we need light to see? I argue that the black experience of a man in a perfectly dark cave is a representation of an absence of light, not an absence of representation. There is certainly a difference between his perceptual knowledge and that of his blind companion. Only the sighted man can tell whether the cave is dark just by looking. But perhaps he is merely inferring darkness from his failure to see. To get an unambiguous answer, I switch (...)
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  20.  58
    Roy Sorensen (2002). The Art of the Impossible. In John Hawthorne & Tamar Szab'O. Gendler (eds.), Conceivability and Possibility. Oxford University Press 337--368.
    Prize: One hundred dollars to the first person who identifies a picture of a logical impossibility. I may be willing to pay more for the painting itself. This finder’s fee is simply for pointing out the picture. Let me explain more precisely what I seek.
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  21.  24
    Roy Sorensen (2011). Silhouettes: A Reply From the Dark Side. [REVIEW] Acta Analytica 26 (2):199-211.
    This is a reply to Casey O'Callaghan and Jonathan Westphal’s comments on Seeing Dark Things: The Philosophy of Shadows. Both attempt to soften the blow to intuition that comes from the most controversial thesis of the book: we see the backs of back-lit objects. Each characterizes the viewing of silhouettes as a kind of marginal seeing that only discloses shapes, sizes and location. In response, photographs are presented to show that silhouettes are typically three-dimensional and they often have internal structure. (...)
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  22.  65
    Roy A. Sorensen (1991). `P, Therefore, P' Without Circularity. Journal of Philosophy 88 (5):245-266.
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  23.  78
    Roy A. Sorensen (1981). Is Epistemic Preferability Transitive? Analysis 41 (3):122 - 123.
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  24.  71
    Roy A. Sorensen (1982). Knowing, Believing, and Guessing. Analysis 42 (4):212 - 213.
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  25.  7
    Roy Sorensen (2011). What Lies Behind Misspeaking. American Philosophical Quarterly 48 (4):399.
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  26. Roy Sorensen (2005). The Cheated God: Death and Personal Time. Analysis 65 (286):119–125.
  27.  48
    Roy A. Sorensen (1984). Conditional Blindspots and the Knowledge Squeeze: A Solution to the Prediction Paradox. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 62 (2):126 – 135.
    (1984). Conditional blindspots and the knowledge squeeze: A solution to the prediction paradox. Australasian Journal of Philosophy: Vol. 62, No. 2, pp. 126-135.
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  28.  48
    Roy A. Sorensen (1985). An Argument for the Vagueness of 'Vague'. Analysis 45 (3):134 - 137.
    The argument proceeds by exploiting the gradually decreasing vagueness of a certain sequence of predicates. the vagueness of 'vague' is then used to show that the thesis that all vague predicates are incoherent is self-defeating. a second casualty is the view that the probems of vagueness can be avoided by restricting the scope of logic to nonvague predicates.
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  29.  81
    Roy A. Sorensen (1992). The Egg Came Before the Chicken. Mind 101 (403):541-2.
    Vagueness theorists tend to think that evolutionary theory dissolves the riddle "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?". After all, 'chicken' is vague. The idea is that Charles Darwin demonstrated that the chicken was preceded by borderline chickens and so it is simply indeterminate as to where the pre-chickens end and the chickens begin.
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  30.  31
    Roy A. Sorensen (1995). Commentary. Southern Journal of Philosophy 33 (Supplement):161-170.
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  31.  16
    Roy Sorensen, Vagueness. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
  32.  53
    Roy Sorensen (1995). Unknowable Obligations. Utilitas 7 (2):247-271.
    You face two buttons. Pushing one will destroy Greensboro. Pushing the other will save it. There is no way for you to know which button saves and which destroys. What ought you to do? Answer: You ought to make the correct guess and push the button that saves Greensboro. Second question: Do you have an obligation to push the correct button?
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  33.  65
    Roy A. Sorensen (1996). Unbeggable Questions. Analysis 56 (1):51–55.
    I can get away with it because no one is in a position to call me on it. Professor Robinson cannot consistently complain that (A) begs the question against his thesis that there is no such fallacy. He would discourage anyone from "helping" him by accusing me of committing the fallacy against him. With advocates like that, who needs adversaries? I. EMBEDDING PERSPECTIVES After all, Robinson has a viable reply to my argument. He should simply deny my premise. Later I (...)
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  34.  58
    Roy A. Sorensen (1983). Subjective Probability and Indifference. Analysis 43 (1):15 -.
  35.  29
    Roy A. Sorensen (1987). Anti-Expertise, Instability, and Rational Choice. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 65 (3):301 – 315.
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  36.  67
    Roy A. Sorensen (1986). Nozick, Justice, and the Sorites. Analysis 46 (2):102 - 106.
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  37.  20
    Roy Sorensen (2000). Moore's Problem with Iterated Belief. Philosophical Quarterly 50 (198):28-43.
    Positive thinkers love Watty Piper's The little engine that could. The story features a train laden with toys for deserving children on the other side of the mountain. After the locomotive breaks down, a sequence of snooty locomotives come up the track. Each engine refuses to pull the train up the mountain. They are followed by a weary old locomotive that declines, saying "I cannot. I cannot. I cannot." But then a bright blue engine comes up the track. He manages (...)
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  38.  6
    Roy Sorensen (2005). A Reply to Critics. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 71 (3):712-728.
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  39.  26
    Roy A. Sorensen (1998). Logical Luck. Philosophical Quarterly 48 (192):319-334.
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  40.  14
    Roy Sorensen (2005). A Reply to Critics. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 71 (3):712–728.
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  41.  55
    Roy A. Sorensen (1999). Seeing Intersecting Eclipses. Journal of Philosophy 96 (1):25-49.
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  42.  65
    Roy A. Sorensen (1991). Moral Dilemmas, Thought Experiments, and Conflict Vagueness. Philosophical Studies 63 (3):291 - 308.
  43.  79
    Roy A. Sorensen (1986). Was Descartes's Cogito a Diagonal Deduction? British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 37 (3):346-351.
    Peter Slezak and William Boos have independently advanced a novel interpretation of Descartes's "cogito". The interpretation portrays the "cogito" as a diagonal deduction and emphasizes its resemblance to Godel's theorem and the Liar. I object that this approach is flawed by the fact that it assigns 'Buridan sentences' a legitimate role in Descartes's philosophy. The paradoxical nature of these sentences would have the peculiar result of undermining Descartes's "cogito" while enabling him to "disprove" God's existence.
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  44.  76
    Roy Sorensen, Do Butterflies Dream?
    If people never dreamed, would it make a difference to how they picture reality? Or themselves? Philosophers would certainly lose the most natural way of introducing skepticism. The Chinese Taoist, Chuang Tzu (369 B. C. - ?), dreamt he was a butterfly. When he awoke he wondered whether he was a man who dreamt he was butterfly or a butterfly now dreaming he is a man. Any experience can be explained as either a faithful representation of the world or as (...)
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  45.  40
    Roy Sorensen (2000). The Aesthetics of Mirror Reversal. Philosophical Studies 100 (2):175-191.
    A flop is a picture that mirror reverses the original scene. Some flops are reversed copies. For instance, mirror reversal is systematic with technologies that require contact between a template and an imprint surface. Other flops are just pictures that have undergone the operation of flopping. For example, a slide that is inserted backwards into a projector is a flop.
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  46.  14
    Roy Sorensen (2002). Formal Problems About Knowledge. In Paul K. Moser (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Epistemology. Oxford University Press 539.
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  47.  22
    Roy Sorensen (2001). Vagueness has No Function in Law. Legal Thoery 7 (4):385--415.
    Islamic building codes require mosques to face Mecca. The further Islam spreads, the more apt are believers to fall into a quandary. X faces Y only when the front of X is closer to Y than any other side of X. So the front of the mosque should be oriented along a shortest path to Mecca. Which way is that? Does the path to Mecca tunnel through the earth? Or does the path follow the surface of the earth?
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  48.  39
    Roy Sorensen (1996). The Metaphysics of Words. Philosophical Studies 81 (2-3):193 - 214.
    Semantic indeterminacy is the ether of philosophy of language. It fills the interstices of our intentions and pervades accounts of presupposition, tense, fiction, translation, and especially, vagueness. Yet semantic indeterminacy is as impossible as ectoplasm. Indeed, more so! The demonstration need only borrow a few assumptions used elsewhere in widely accepted impossibility results. Since an impossibility is never a necessary condition for anything actual, semantic indeterminacy must be superfluous. Language is no more explained by semantic indeterminacy than calculus is explained (...)
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  49.  27
    Roy A. Sorensen (1982). Recalcitrant Variations of the Prediction Paradox. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 60 (4):355 – 362.
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  50.  38
    Roy Sorensen (2012). Lying with Conditionals. Philosophical Quarterly 62 (249):820-832.
    If you read this abstract, then you will understand what my essay is about. Under what conditions would the preceding assertion be a lie? Traditional definitions of lying are always applied to straight declaratives such as ‘The dog ate my homework’. This one sided diet of examples leaves us unprepared for sentences in which conditional probability governs assertibility. The truth-value of conditionals does not play a significant role in the sincere assertion of conditionals. Lying is insincere assertion. So the connection (...)
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