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Profile: Stephen K. McLeod (University of Liverpool)
  1. Stephen K. McLeod (2013). Absolute Biological Needs. Bioethics 27 (4):293-301.
    Absolute needs (as against instrumental needs) are independent of the ends, goals and purposes of personal agents. Against the view that the only needs are instrumental needs, David Wiggins and Garrett Thomson have defended absolute needs on the grounds that the verb ‘need’ has instrumental and absolute senses. While remaining neutral about it, this article does not adopt that approach. Instead, it suggests that there are absolute biological needs. The absolute nature of these needs is defended by appeal to: their (...)
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  2. Stephen K. McLeod (2011). First-Order Logic and Some Existential Sentences. Disputatio 4 (31):255-270.
    ‘Quantified pure existentials’ are sentences (e.g., ‘Some things do not exist’) which meet these conditions: (i) the verb EXIST is contained in, and is, apart from quantificational BE, the only full (as against auxiliary) verb in the sentence; (ii) no (other) logical predicate features in the sentence; (iii) no name or other sub-sentential referring expression features in the sentence; (iv) the sentence contains a quantifier that is not an occurrence of EXIST. Colin McGinn and Rod Girle have alleged that standard (...)
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  3. Stephen K. McLeod (2011). Knowledge of Need. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 19 (2):211 - 230.
    Some of the duties of individuals and organisations involve responsiveness to need. This requires knowledge of need, so the epistemology of need is relevant to practice. The prevailing contention among philosophers who have broached the topic is that one can know one?s own needs (as one can know some kinds of desires) by feeling them. The article argues against this view. The main positive claims made in the article are as follows. Knowledge of need, in both first?person and second?person cases, (...)
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  4. Daniel J. Hill & Stephen K. McLeod (2010). On Truth-Functionality. Review of Symbolic Logic 3 (4):628-632.
    Benjamin Schnieder has argued that several traditional definitions of truth-functionality fail to capture a central intuition informal characterizations of the notion often capture. The intuition is that the truth-value of a sentence that employs a truth-functional operator depends upon the truth-values of the sentences upon which the operator operates. Schnieder proposes an alternative definition of truth-functionality that is designed to accommodate this intuition. We argue that one traditional definition of ‘truth-functionality’ is immune from the counterexamples that Schnieder proposes and is (...)
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  5. Stephen K. McLeod (2009). Ordinary Objects • by Amie L.Thomasson. Analysis 69 (1):173-174.
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  6. Stephen K. McLeod (2009). Rationalism and Modal Knowledge. Critica 41 (122):29-42.
    The article argues against attempts to combine ontological realism about modality with the rejection of modal rationalism and it suggests that modal realism requires (at least a weak form of) modal rationalism. /// El artículo da argumentos en contra de que se intente combinar el realismo ontológico sobre la modalidad con el rechazo del racionalismo modal y sugiere que el realismo modal exige (por lo menos una forma débil de) racionalismo modal.
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  7. Stephen K. McLeod (2008). How to Reconcile Essence with Contingent Existence. Ratio 21 (3):314-328.
    To reconcile true claims of de re necessity with the supposedly contingent existence of the concrete objects those claims are typically about, Kripkean essentialists invoke weak necessity. The claim that a is necessarily F is held to be equivalent to the claim that necessarily, if a exists then a is F. This strategy faces a barrage of serious objections a proper subset of which shows that the strategy fails to achieve its intended purpose. Relief can be provided via recourse to (...)
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  8. Stephen K. McLeod (2008). Knowledge of Necessity: Logical Positivism and Kripkean Essentialism. Philosophy 83 (324):179-191.
    By the lights of a central logical positivist thesis in modal epistemology, for every necessary truth that we know, we know it a priori and for every contingent truth that we know, we know it a posteriori. Kripke attacks on both flanks, arguing that we know necessary a posteriori truths and that we probably know contingent a priori truths. In a reflection of Kripke's confidence in his own arguments, the first of these Kripkean claims is far more widely accepted than (...)
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  9. Stephen K. McLeod (2008). Words Without Objects: Semantics, Ontology, and Logic for Non-Singularity - by Henry Laycock. Philosophical Books 49 (3):270-272.
  10. Stephen K. McLeod (2007). On Two Arguments About the Logical Status of "Exists&Quot;. The Reasoner 1 (7):3-5.
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  11. Stephen K. McLeod (2006). Why Essentialism Requires Two Senses of Necessity. Ratio 19 (1):77–91.
    I set up a dilemma, concerning metaphysical modality de re, for the essentialist opponent of a ‘two senses’ view of necessity. I focus specifically on Frank Jackson's two-dimensional account in his From Metaphysics to Ethics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998). I set out the background to Jackson's conception of conceptual analysis and his rejection of a two senses view. I proceed to outline two purportedly objective (as opposed to epistemic) differences between metaphysical and logical necessity. I conclude that since one (...)
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  12. Stephen K. McLeod (2005). Modal Epistemology. Philosophical Books 46 (3):235-245.
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  13. Stephen K. McLeod (2001). Modality and Anti-Metaphysics. Ashgate.
    Modality and Anti-Metaphysics critically examines the most prominent approaches to modality among analytic philosophers in the twentieth century, including essentialism. Defending both the project of metaphysics and the essentialist position that metaphysical modality is conceptually and ontologically primitive, Stephen McLeod argues that the logical positivists did not succeed in banishing metaphysical modality from their own theoretical apparatus and he offers an original defence of metaphysics against their advocacy of its elimination. -/- Seeking to assuage the sceptical worries which underlie modal (...)
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