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Profile: Simon Evnine (University of Miami)
  1. Simon J. Evnine (2013). Ready-Mades: Ontology and Aesthetics. British Journal of Aesthetics 53 (4):407-423.
    I explore the interrelations between the ontological and aesthetic issues raised by ready-mades such as Duchamp’s Fountain. I outline a hylomorphic metaphysics which has two central features. First, hylomorphically complex objects have matter to which they are not identical. Secondly, when such objects are artefacts (including artworks), it is essential to them that they are the products of creative work on their matter. Against this background, I suggest that ready-mades are of aesthetic interest because they pose a dilemma. Is there (...)
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  2. Simon J. Evnine (2009). Constitution and Qua Objects in the Ontology of Music. British Journal of Aesthetics 49 (3):203-217.
    Musical Platonists identify musical works with abstract sound structures but this implies that they are not created but only discovered. Jerrold Levinson adapts Platonism to allow for creation by identifying musical works with indicated sound structures. In this paper I explore the similarities between Levinson's view and Kit Fine's theory of qua objects. Fine offers the theory of qua objects as an account of constitution, as it obtains, for example, between a statue and the clay the statue is made out (...)
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  3. Simon J. Evnine (2008). Kinds and Conscious Experience: Is There Anything That It is Like to Be Something? Metaphilosophy 39 (2):185–202.
    In this article I distinguish the notion of there being something it is like to be a certain kind of creature from that of there being something it is like to have a certain kind of experience. Work on consciousness has typically dealt with the latter while employing the language of the former. I propose several ways of analyzing what it is like to be a certain kind of creature and find problems with them all. The upshot is that even (...)
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  4. Simon J. Evnine (2007). Personhood and Future Belief: Two Arguments for Something Like Reflection. Erkenntnis 67 (1):91 - 110.
    This paper offers two new arguments for a version of Reflection, the principle that says, roughly, that if one knew now what one would believe in the future, one ought to believe it now. The most prominent existing argument for the principle is the coherence-based Dutch Strategy argument advanced by Bas van Fraassen (and others). My two arguments are quite different. The first is a truth-based argument. On the basis of two substantive premises, that people’s beliefs generally get better over (...)
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  5. Simon J. Evnine (2005). Containing Multitudes: Reflection, Expertise and Persons as Groups. Episteme 2 (1):57-64.
    The thesis of the paper is that persons are similar to a kind of group: multiple-expert epistemic unities (MEUs). MEUs are groups in which there are multiple experts on whom other members of the group model their opinion. An example would be a group of children playing Telephone. Any child nearer the source is an 'expert' for any child further away. I argue that, with certain important qualifications, it is both rational and necessary for persons to treat their future selves (...)
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  6. Simon J. Evnine (2003). Epistemic Unities. Erkenntnis 59 (3):365 - 388.
    I bring together social ontology and social epistemology by consideringsocial entities (``epistemic unities'') that are constituted by the holdingof epistemic relations between their members. In particular, I focus onthe relation of taking someone as an expert. Among the types of structuresexamined are ones with a single expert and one or more non-experts whomay or may not know of each other's situation; and ones with more thanone expert, including cases in which the relation between the experts ishierarchical and cases in which (...)
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  7. Simon J. Evnine (2001). Learning From One's Mistakes: Epistemic Modesty and the Nature of Belief. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 82 (2):157–177.
    I argue that it is not ideally rational to believe that some of one's current beliefs are false, despite the impressive inductive evidence concerning others and our former selves. One's own current beliefs represent a commitment which would be undermined by taking some of them to be false. The nature of this commitment is examined in the light of Nagel's distinction between subjective and objective points of view. Finally, I suggest how we might acknowledge our fallibility consistently with this special (...)
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  8. Simon J. Evnine (2001). The Universality of Logic: On the Connection Between Rationality and Logical Ability. Mind 110 (438):335-367.
    I argue for the thesis (UL) that there are certain logical abilities that any rational creature must have. Opposition to UL comes from naturalized epistemologists who hold that it is a purely empirical question which logical abilities a rational creature has. I provide arguments that any creatures meeting certain conditions—plausible necessary conditions on rationality—must have certain specific logical concepts and be able to use them in certain specific ways. For example, I argue that any creature able to grasp theories must (...)
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  9. Simon J. Evnine (1999). Believing Conjunctions. Synthese 118 (2):201-227.
    I argue that it is rational for a person to believe the conjunction of her beliefs. This involves responding to the Lottery and Preface Paradoxes. In addition, I suggest that in normal circumstances, what it is to believe a conjunction just is to believe its conjuncts.
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  10. Simon J. Evnine (1999). God Without the Supernatural. Faith and Philosophy 16 (4):573-577.
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  11. Simon J. Evnine (1989). Freud's Ambiguous Concepts. Journal of Speculative Philosophy 3 (2):86 - 99.
    In this paper I propose to say something about why certain key psychoanalytic concepts, particularly that of the unconscious, are special because of a studied, and therapeutically important, ambiguity or paradoxicality which affects them. Before I examine these concepts, however, the first section of this paper discusses some of Sartre's views on psychological explanation. On the one hand, this gives me a way of introducing the dichotomy of self-evident irreducibility and existential lucidity which underlies my account of the unconscious. On (...)
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  12. Simon J. Evnine (1989). Understanding Madness? Ratio 2 (1):1-18.
    The paper contrasts two ways of understanding the apparently strange assertions of mad persons, finds them both problematic, and proposes an alternative. The first approach, exemplified by R.D. Laing, is to suppose that the beliefs of the mad person are ordinary but expressed in terms that make them appear irrational. The other approach, advocated by Silvano Arieti, is to take the words at face value but to attribute to the mad person a kind of deviant logic. I suggest, on the (...)
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