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Stephen Mumford [69]Stephen D. Mumford [2]
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Profile: Stephen Mumford (Nottingham University, Nottingham University)
  1. Rani Lill Anjum, Svein Anders Noer Lie & Stephen Mumford, Dispositions and Ethics.
    What is the connection between dispositions and ethics? Some might think very little and those who are interested in dispositions tend to be metaphysicians whose interests are far from value. However, we argue in this paper that dispositions and dispositionality are central to ethics, indeed a precondition. Ethics rests on a number of notions that are either dispositional in nature or involve real dispositions or powers at work. We argue for a dispositional account of value that offers an alternative to (...)
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  2. Rani Lill Anjum, Johan Arnt Myrstad & Stephen Mumford, Conditional Probability From an Ontological Point of View.
    This paper argues that the technical notion of conditional probability, as given by the ratio analysis, is unsuitable for dealing with our pretheoretical and intuitive understanding of both conditionality and probability. This is an ontological account of conditionals that include an irreducible dispositional connection between the antecedent and consequent conditions and where the conditional has to be treated as an indivisible whole rather than compositional. The relevant type of conditionality is found in some well-defined group of conditional statements. As an (...)
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  3. Stephen Mumford, Philosophical Publications of David Armstrong.
    Part I will deal with the central system of metaphysics that Armstrong developed between 1978 and 1997. This will concern, in turn, the major topics of universals, laws, modality, facts or states of affairs, and dispositions. It will be demonstrated how Armstrong’s distinct contributions to these separate problems came together in a unified and systematic account such that he could be judged as holding a single, very appealing, metaphysical theory.
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  4. Stephen Mumford & Rani Lill Anjum, Freedom and Control - On the Modality of Free Will.
  5. Stephen Mumford & Rani Lill Anjum (forthcoming). The Tendential Theory of Sporting Prowess. Journal of the Philosophy of Sport.
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  6. Stephen Mumford & Rani Lill Anjum (2014). Powers, Non‐Consent and Freedom. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (1).
    There are a number of dispositionalist solutions to the free will problem based on freedom consisting in the agent's exercise of a power. But if a subject a is free when they exercise their power P, there is an objection to be overcome from the possibility of power implantation. A brainwasher, rather than directly manipulating a subject's movements, can instead implant in them a desire, to be understood as a disposition to act, and allow the subject to exercise such a (...)
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  7. Rani Lill Anjum & Stephen Mumford, With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility - On Causation and Responsibility in Spider-Man, and Possibly Moore. Critical Essays on Causation and Responsibility.
    Omissions are sometimes linked to responsibility. A harm can counterfactually depend on an omission to prevent it. If someone had the ability to prevent a harm but didn’t, this could suffice to ground their responsibility for the harm. We present an argument for this based on the WGPCGR-thesis: With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility. -/- We argue, with reference to Moore’s account in Causation and Responsibility (Moore 2009), that moral and legal responsibility is based on the power we have as (...)
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  8. Thor Eriksen, Roger Kerry, Stephen Mumford, Svein Anders Lie & Rani Lill Anjum (2013). At the Borders of Medical Reasoning: Aetiological and Ontological Challenges of Medically Unexplained Symptoms. Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine 8 (1):11.
    Medically unexplained symptoms (MUS) remain recalcitrant to the medical profession, proving less suitable for homogenic treatment with respect to their aetiology, taxonomy and diagnosis. While the majority of existing medical research methods are designed for large scale population data and sufficiently homogenous groups, MUS are characterised by their heterogenic and complex nature. As a result, MUS seem to resist medical scrutiny in a way that other conditions do not. This paper approaches the problem of MUS from a philosophical point of (...)
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  9. Roger Kerry, Aurélien Madouasse, Antony Arthur & Stephen D. Mumford (2013). Analysis of Scientific Truth Status in Controlled Rehabilitation Trials. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 19 (4):617-625.
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  10. Jennifer McKitrick, Anna Marmodoro, Stephen Mumford & Rani Lill Anjum (2013). Causes as Powers. Metascience 22 (3):545-559.
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  11. Stephen Mumford (2013). A Pornographic Way of Seeing. In Hans Maes (ed.), Pornographic Art and the Aesthetics of Pornography. Palgrave Macmillan. 58.
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  12. Stephen Mumford (2013). Max Kistler: Causation and Laws of Nature. [REVIEW] British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (1):223-227.
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  13. Stephen Mumford (2013). Max Kistler Causation and Laws of Nature: Routledge Studies in Contemporary Philosophy. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (1):223-227.
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  14. Stephen Mumford (2013). Why Cheat? The Philosophers' Magazine 61 (61):19-21.
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  15. Stephen Mumford (2013). Ways of Watching Sport. Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 73:3-15.
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  16. Stephen Mumford & Rani Lill Anjum (2013). A New Argument Against Compatibilism. Analysis (1):ant095.
    If one’s solution to the free will problem is in terms of real causal powers of agents then one ought to be an incompatibilist. Some premises are contentious but the following new argument for incompatibilism is advanced: 1. If causal determinism is true, all events are necessitated2. If all events are necessitated, then there are no powers3. Free will consists in the exercise of an agent’s powersTherefore, if causal determinism is true, there is no free will; which is to say (...)
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  17. Stephen Mumford & Rani Lill Anjum (2013). Causation: A Very Short Introduction. Oup Oxford.
    Without cause and effect, there would be no science or technology, no moral responsibility, and no system of law. Causation is therefore the most fundamental connection in the universe and a core topic of philosophical thought. This Very Short Introduction introduces all of the main theories of causation and its key debates.
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  18. Stephen Mumford & Matthew Tugby (eds.) (2013). Metaphysics and Science. Oxford University Press.
    Metaphysics and Science brings together important new work within an emerging philosophical discipline: the metaphysics of science. In the opening chapter, a definition of the metaphysics of science is offered, one which explains why the topics of laws, causation, natural kinds, and emergence are at the discipline's heart. The book is then divided into four sections, which group together papers from leading academics on each of those four topics. Among the questions discussed are: How are laws and measurement methods related? (...)
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  19. Roger Kerry, Thor Eirik Eriksen, Svein Anders Noer Lie, Stephen Mumford & Rani Lill Anjum (2012). Causation and Evidence-Based Practive - an Ontological Review. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 18 (5):1006-1012.
    We claim that if a complete philosophy of evidence-based practice is intended, then attention to the nature of causation in health science is necessary. We identify how health science currently conceptualises causation by the way it prioritises some research methods over others. We then show how the current understanding of what causation is serves to constrain scientific progress. An alternative account of causation is offered. This is one of dispositionalism. We claim that by understanding causation from a dispositionalist stance, many (...)
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  20. Stephen Mumford (2012). Allegiance and Identity. Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 31 (2):184-195.
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  21. Stephen Mumford (2012). Emotions and Aesthetics: An Inevitable Trade-Off? Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 39 (2):267-279.
    Sport is a producer of both emotional and aesthetic experiences. But how do these relate? Does a spectator?s emotional engagement in sport enhance or hinder it as an aesthetic experience? And does the aesthetic perception of sport enhance or hinder the emotional experiences? These questions will be addressed with particular reference to the distinction that can be drawn between partisan and purist watchers of sport, and making use of thinking in contemporary aesthetics and philosophy of emotion. There are some reasons (...)
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  22. Stephen Mumford (2012). Forum: What's the Point of Sport? The Philosophers' Magazine 58:71-76.
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  23. Stephen Mumford (2012). Metaphysics: A Very Short Introduction. Oup Oxford.
    In this easy-to-understand introduction, Stephen Mumford explores one of the four main branches of philosophy: metaphysics. Using practical examples to explore the main issues, he presents the ideas in a clear and simple way, helping to clarify and unravel the basic questions of this complex and abstract concept.
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  24. Stephen Mumford (2012). Moderate Partisanship as Oscillation. Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 6 (3):369-375.
    In Watching Sport, Stephen Mumford distinguishes two ways in which sport can be seen. A purist sees it aesthetically while a partisan sees it competitively. But this overlooks the obvious point that most sports fans are neither entirely purist nor entirely partisan. The norm will be some moderate position in between with the purist and partisan as ideal limits. What is then the point of considering these pure aesthetic and pure competitive ways of seeing? In this discussion note, I consider (...)
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  25. Stephen Mumford (2012). Sport: Profound or a Complete Waste of Time? The Philosophers' Magazine 58:72-76.
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  26. Stephen Mumford & Rani Lill Anjum (2012). Causal Dispositionalism. In Alexander Bird, Brian Ellis & Howard Sankey (eds.), Properties, Powers and Structure. Routledge.
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  27. Rani Lill Anjum & Stephen Mumford (2011). What We Tend to Mean. Norsk Filosofisk Tidsskrift 1 (46):20-33.
    In this paper a dispositional account of meaning is offered. Words might dispose towards a particular or ‘literal’ meaning, but whether this meaning is actually conveyed when expressed will depend on a number of factors, such as speaker’s intentions, the context of the utterance and the background knowledge of the hearer. It is thus argued that no meaning is guaranteed or necessitated by the words used.
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  28. Stephen Mumford (2011). Breaking It or Faking It? Some Critical Thoughts on the Voluntary Suspension of Play and Six Proposed Revisions. Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 4 (3):254-268.
    The voluntary suspension of play (VSP) is a putative fair play norm that has emerged in the last 20 years in association football, though there is no reason in principle why it is limited to that sport. It occurs in football when an injury appears to have been sustained and another player deliberately puts the ball out of play so that the injury can receive rapid attention. It is widely understood as a positive development within the sport and philosophers have (...)
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  29. Stephen Mumford (2011). Watching Sport: Aesthetics, Ethics and Emotion for the Spectator. Routledge.
  30. Stephen Mumford & Rani Lill Anjum (2011). Dispositional Modality. In C. F. Gethmann (ed.), Lebenswelt und Wissenschaft, Deutsches Jahrbuch Philosophie 2. Meiner Verlag.
    There has been much discussion of powers or real dispositions in the past decade, but there remains an issue that has been inadequately treated. This concerns the precise modal value that comes with dispositionality. We contend in this paper that dispositionality involves a non-alethic, sui generis, irreducible modality. Dispositions only tend towards their manifestations; they do not necessitate them. Tendency is, of course, a dispositional term itself, so this last statement offers little by way of illumination. But given our thesis (...)
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  31. Stephen Mumford & Rani Lill Anjum (2011). Getting Causes From Powers. OUP Oxford.
    Causation is everywhere in the world: it features in every science and technology. But how much do we truly understand it? Do we know what it means to say that one thing is a cause of another and do we understand what in the world drives causation? Getting Causes from Powers develops a new and original theory of causation based on an ontology of real powers or dispositions. Others have already suggested that this ought to be possible, but no one (...)
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  32. Stephen Mumford & Rani Lill Anjum (2011). Spoils to the Vector - How to Model Causes If You Are a Realist About Powers. The Monist 94 (1):54-80.
    A standard way of representing causation is with neuron diagrams. This has become popular since the influential work of David Lewis. But it should not be assumed that such representations are metaphysically neutral and amenable to any theory of causation. On the contrary, this way of representing causation already makes several Humean assumptions about what causation is, and which suit Lewis’s programme of Humean Supervenience. An alternative of a vector diagram is better suited for a powers ontology. Causation should be (...)
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  33. Stephen Mumford (2010). No Power in Unger's World. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 80 (2):476-483.
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  34. Stephen Mumford & Rani Lill Anjum (2010). A Powerful Theory of Causation. In Anna Marmodoro (ed.), The Metaphysics of Powers: Their Grounding and Their Manifestations. Routledge. 143--159.
    Hume thought that if you believed in powers, you believed in necessary connections in nature. He was then able to argue that there were none such because anything could follow anything else. But Hume wrong-footed his opponents. A power does not necessitate its manifestations: rather, it disposes towards them in a way that is less than necessary but more than purely contingent. -/- In this paper a dispositional theory of causation is offered. Causes dispose towards their effects and often produce (...)
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  35. Stephen Mumford & Teresa Lacerda (2010). The Genius in Art and in Sport: A Contribution to the Investigation of Aesthetics of Sport. Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 37 (2):182-193.
    This paper contains a consideration of the notion of genius and its significance to the discussion of the aesthetics of sport. We argue that genius can make a positive aes- thetic contribution in both art and sport, just as some have argued that the moral content of a work of art can affect its aesthetic value. A genius is an exceptional inno- vator of successful strategies, where such originality adds aesthetic value. We argue that an original painting can have greater (...)
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  36. Stephen Mumford (2009). Causal Powers and Capacities. In Helen Beebee, Christopher Hitchcock & Peter Menzies (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Causation. Oup Oxford.
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  37. Stephen Mumford (2009). Laws and Dispositions. In Robin Le Poidevin (ed.), The Routledge Companion to Metaphysics. Routledge.
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  38. Stephen Mumford (2009). Passing Powers Around. The Monist 92 (1):94-111.
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  39. Stephen Mumford & Rani Lill Anjum (2009). Double Prevention and Powers. Journal of Critical Realism 8 (3):277-293.
    Does A cause B simply if A prevents what would have prevented B? Such a case is known as double prevention: where we have the prevention of a prevention. One theory of causation is that A causes B when B counterfactually depends on A and, as there is such a dependence, proponents of the view must rule that double prevention is causation.<br><br>However, if double prevention is causation, it means that causation can be an extrinsic matter, that the cause and effect (...)
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  40. Stephen Mumford (2007). A New Solution to the Problem of Negative Truth. In Jean-Maurice Monnoyer (ed.), Metaphysics and Truthmakers. Ontos Verlag. 18--313.
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  41. Stephen Mumford (2007). All the Power in the World. [REVIEW] Journal of Philosophy 104 (8):424-431.
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  42. Stephen Mumford (2007). Negative Truth and Falsehood. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 107 (1pt1):45 - 71.
    What makes it true when we say that something is not the case? Truthmaker maximalists think that every truth has a truthmaker—some fact in the world—that makes it true. No such facts can be found for the socalled negative truths. If a proposition is true when it has a truthmaker, then it would be false when it has no truthmaker. I therefore argue that negative truths, such as t<p>, are best understood as falsehoods, f<p>.
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  43. Stephen Mumford (2006). Function, Structure, Capacity. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 37 (1):76-80.
  44. Stephen Mumford (2006). The Ungrounded Argument. Synthese 149 (3):471 - 489.
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  45. Stephen Mumford (2005). Kinds, Essences, Powers. Ratio 18 (4):420–436.
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  46. Stephen Mumford (2005). Laws and Lawlessness. Synthese 144 (3):397?413.
    I develop a metaphysical position that is both lawless and anti-Humean. The position is called realist lawlessness and contrasts with both Humean lawlessness and nomological realism – the claim that there are laws in nature. While the Humean view also allows no laws, realist lawlessness is not Humean because it accepts some necessary connections in nature between distinct properties. Realism about laws, on the other hand, faces a central dilemma. Either laws govern the behaviour of properties from the outside or (...)
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  47. Stephen Mumford (2005). The True and the False. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83 (2):263 – 269.
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  48. Stephen Mumford (2004). Filled in Space. In B. Gnassounou & M. Kistler (eds.), Dispositions Et Pouvoirs Causaux. Vrin.
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  49. Stephen Mumford (2004). Laws in Nature. Routledge.
    This book outlines a major new theory of natural laws. The book begins with the question of whether there are any genuinely law-like phenomena in nature. The discussion addresses questions currently being debated by metaphysicians such as whether the laws of nature are necessary or contingent and whether a property can be identified independently of its causal role.
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