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Stephen Puryear [11]Stephen Montague Puryear [1]
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Profile: Stephen Puryear (NC State University)
  1. Stephen Puryear (2014). Finitism and the Beginning of the Universe. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (4):619-629.
    Many philosophers have argued that the past must be finite in duration because otherwise reaching the present moment would have involved something impossible, namely, the sequential occurrence of an actual infinity of events. In reply, some philosophers have objected that there can be nothing amiss in such an occurrence, since actually infinite sequences are ‘traversed’ all the time in nature, for example, whenever an object moves from one location in space to another. This essay focuses on one of the two (...)
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  2. Stephen Puryear (2013). Frege on Vagueness and Ordinary Language. Philosophical Quarterly 63 (250):120-140.
    It is widely believed that on Frege's view, vague predicates have no referent (Bedeutung). But given other things he evidently believes, such a position would seem to commit him to a suspect nihilism according to which assertoric sentences containing vague predicates are neither true nor false. I argue that we have good reason to resist ascribing to Frege the view that vague predicates have no Bedeutung and thus good reason to resist seeing him as committed to the suspect nihilism. In (...)
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  3. Stephen Puryear (2013). Idealism and Scepticism: A Reply to Brueckner. Theoria 79 (1):290-293.
    Anthony Brueckner argues that Berkeleyan idealism lacks anti-sceptical force because of the way Berkeley draws the appearance/reality distinction. But Brueckner's case rests on a misunderstanding of Berkeley's view. Properly understood, Berkeleyan idealism does indeed have anti-sceptical force.
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  4. Stephen Puryear (2013). Leibniz on the Metaphysics of Color. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 86 (2):319-346.
    Drawing on remarks scattered through his writings, I argue that Leibniz has a highly distinctive and interesting theory of color. The central feature of the theory is the way in which it combines a nuanced subjectivism about color with a reductive approach of a sort usually associated with objectivist theories of color. After reconstructing Leibniz's theory and calling attention to some of its most notable attractions, I turn to the apparent incompatibility of its subjective and reductive components. I argue that (...)
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  5. Stephen Puryear (2012). Leibniz's Alleged Ambivalence About Sensible Qualities. Studia Leibnitiana 44:229-45.
    Leibniz has been accused of being ambivalent about the nature of sensible qualities such as color, heat, and sound. According to the critics, he unwittingly vacillates between the view that these qualities are really just complex mechanical qualities of bodies and the competing view that they are something like the perceptions or experiences that confusedly represent these mechanical qualities. Against this, I argue that the evidence for ascribing the first approach to Leibniz is rather strong, whereas the evidence for imputing (...)
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  6. Stephen Puryear (2012). Motion in Leibniz's Middle Years: A Compatibilist Approach. Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy 6:135-170.
    In the texts of the middle years (roughly, the 1680s and 90s), Leibniz appears to endorse two incompatible approaches to motion, one a realist approach, the other a phenomenalist approach. I argue that once we attend to certain nuances in his account we can see that in fact he has only one, coherent approach to motion during this period. I conclude by considering whether the view of motion I want to impute to Leibniz during his middle years ranks as a (...)
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  7. Stephen Puryear (2010). Monadic Interaction. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 18 (5):763-796.
    Leibniz has almost universally been represented as denying that created substances, including human minds and the souls of animals, can causally interact either with one another or with bodies. Yet he frequently claims that such substances are capable of interacting in the special sense of what he calls 'ideal' interaction. In order to reconcile these claims with their favored interpretation, proponents of the traditional reading often suppose that ideal action is not in fact a genuine form of causation but instead (...)
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  8. Stephen Puryear (2010). Review of Daniel Garber, Leibniz: Body, Substance, Monad. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2010 (8).
    Questions about Leibniz's views on the ontological status of the corporeal world have been at the center of debate in Leibniz scholarship for more than two decades, and one of the major players in these debates has been Daniel Garber. Having sketched his influential position in a number of articles over the years, he now gives full expression to his view in this highly anticipated and long-awaited book.
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  9. Stephen Puryear (2009). Review of Janice Thomas, The Minds of the Moderns: Rationalism, Empiricism and Philosophy of Mind. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
    In this work Thomas surveys the contributions of (pre-Kantian) early modern philosophy to our understanding of the mind. She focuses on the six canonical figures of the period -- Descartes, Spinoza, Locke, Leibniz, Berkeley, and Hume -- and asks what each has to say about five topics within the philosophy of mind. The topics are (1) the ontological status of mind, (2) the scope and nature of self-knowledge, (3) the nature of consciousness, (4) the problem of mental causation, and (5) (...)
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  10. Paul Lodge & Stephen Puryear (2006). Unconscious Conceiving and Leibniz's Argument for Primitive Concepts. Studia Leibnitiana 38 (2):177 - 196.
    In einem unlängst erschienenen Aufsatz untersucht Dennis Plaisted ein wichtiges Argument von Leibniz hinsichtlich der Existenz einfacher Begriffe. Plaisted stellt das Argument kurz dar, beurteilt es als offensichtlich unvereinbar mit anderen Positionen Leibniz' und schlägt eine Neugestaltung vor, die den Widerspruch auflösen soll. Die Revision erzeugt jedoch mehrere schwerwiegende Probleme und kann die aufgewiesene Inkonsistenz insofern nicht beheben - wir erörtern die Probleme und liefern eine, wie uns scheint, plausiblere Alternative. In diesem Zusammenhang machen wir auf Leibniz' wenig beachtete Auffassung (...)
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  11. Stephen Puryear (2005). Was Leibniz Confused About Confusion? The Leibniz Review 15:95-124.
    Leibniz’s physicalism about colors and other sensible qualities commits him to two theses about our knowledge of those qualities: first, that we can acquire ideas of sensible qualities apart from any direct acquaintance with the qualities themselves; second, that we can acquire distinct (i.e., non-confused) ideas of such qualities through the development of physical-theoretical accounts. According to some commentators, however, Leibniz frequently denies both claims. His views on the subject are muddled and incoherent, they say, both because he is ambivalent (...)
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