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Profile: Thomas Hofweber (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
  1.  23
    Thomas Hofweber & Marc Lange (2016). Fine's Fragmentalist Interpretation of Special Relativity. Noûs 50 (2).
    In “Tense and Reality”, Kit Fine () proposed a novel way to think about realism about tense in the metaphysics of time. In particular, he explored two non-standard forms of realism about tense, arguing that they are to be preferred over standard forms of realism. In the process of defending his own preferred view, fragmentalism, he proposed a fragmentalist interpretation of the special theory of relativity, which will be our focus in this paper. After presenting Fine's position, we will raise (...)
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  2.  16
    Thomas Hofweber & J. David Velleman, How to Endure.
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  3.  49
    Thomas Hofweber (2016). Contemporary Aristotelian Metaphysics, by Tuomas E. Tahko. Mind 125 (497):231-235.
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  4.  47
    Thomas Hofweber (forthcoming). Conceptual Idealism Without Ontological Idealism: Why Idealism is True After All. In Tyron Goldschmidt & Kenneth Pearce (eds.), Idealism: new essays in metaphysics. Oxford University Press
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  5. Thomas Hofweber & J. David Velleman (2011). How to Endure. Philosophical Quarterly 61 (242):37-57.
    The terms ‘endurance’ and ‘perdurance’ are commonly thought to denote distinct ways for an object to persist, but it is surprisingly hard to say what these are. The common approach, defining them in terms of temporal parts, is mistaken, because it does not lead to two coherent philosophical alternatives: endurance so understood becomes conceptually incoherent, while perdurance becomes not just true but a conceptual truth. Instead, we propose a different way to articulate the distinction, in terms of identity rather than (...)
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  6. Thomas Hofweber (2009). Ambitious, yet Modest, Metaphysics. In David John Chalmers, David Manley & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press 260--289.
    There is a long history of worrying about whether or not metaphysics is a legitimate philosophical discipline. Traditionally such worries center around issues of meaning and epistemological concerns. Do the metaphysical questions have any meaning? Can metaphysical methodology lead to knowledge? But these questions are, in my opinion, not as serious as they have sometimes (historically) been taken to be. What is much more concerning is another set of worries about metaphysics, which I take to the greatest threat to metaphysics (...)
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  7.  72
    Thomas Hofweber (2005). A Puzzle About Ontology. Noûs 39 (2):256–283.
    Ontology is the philosophical discipline that tries to find out what there is: what entities make up reality, what is the stuff the world is made from? Thus, ontology is part of metaphysics, and in fact it seems to be about half of all of metaphysics. It tries to establish what (kinds of) things there are, the other half tries to find out what the (general) properties of these things are and what (general) relations they have to each other. Settling (...)
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  8.  10
    Thomas Hofweber & Ralf Schindler (2016). Hyperreal-Valued Probability Measures Approximating a Real-Valued Measure. Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 57 (3):369-374.
    We give a direct and elementary proof of the fact that every real-valued probability measure can be approximated—up to an infinitesimal—by a hyperreal-valued one which is regular and defined on the whole powerset of the sample space.
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  9. Thomas Hofweber (2009). The Meta-Problem of Change. Noûs 43 (2):286 - 314.
    The problem of change plays a central role in the metaphysics of time and material objects, and whoever does best in solving this problem has a leg up when it comes to choosing a metaphysics of time and material objects. But whether this central role of the problem of change in metaphysics is legitimate is not at all clear. This is so in part since it is not clear what the problem of change is, and why it is a problem (...)
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  10.  72
    Thomas Hofweber (2005). Number Determiners, Numbers, and Arithmetic. Philosophical Review 114 (2):179-225.
    In his groundbreaking Grundlagen, Frege (1884) pointed out that number words like ‘four’ occur in ordinary language in two quite different ways and that this gives rise to a philosophical puzzle. On the one hand ‘four’ occurs as an adjective, which is to say that it occurs grammatically in sentences in a position that is commonly occupied by adjectives. Frege’s example was (1) Jupiter has four moons, where the occurrence of ‘four’ seems to be just like that of ‘green’ in (...)
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  11.  17
    Thomas Hofweber (2015). The Place of Subjects in the Metaphysics of Material Objects. Dialectica 69 (4):473-490.
    An under-explored intermediate position between traditional materialism and traditional idealism is the view that although the spatiotemporal world is purely material, minds nonetheless have a metaphysically special place in it. One way this can be is via a special role that subjects have in the metaphysics of material objects. Some metaphysical aspect of material objects might require the existence of subjects. This would support that minds must exist if material objects exist and thus that a mindless material world is impossible. (...)
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  12.  73
    Thomas Hofweber (2007). Innocent Statements and Their Metaphysically Loaded Counterparts. Philosophers' Imprint 7 (1):1-33.
    One puzzling feature of talk about properties, propositions and natural numbers is that statements that are explicitly about them can be introduced apparently without change of truth conditions from statements that don't mention them at all. Thus it seems that the existence of numbers, properties and propositions can be established`from nothing'. This metaphysical puzzle is tied to a series of syntactic and semantic puzzles about the relationship between ordinary, metaphysically innocent statements and their metaphysically loaded counterparts, statements that explicitly mention (...)
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  13.  31
    Thomas Hofweber (2014). Infinitesimal Chances. Philosophers' Imprint 14 (2).
    It is natural to think that questions in the metaphysics of chance are independent of the mathematical representation of chance in probability theory. After all, chance is a feature of events that comes in degrees and the mathematical representation of chance concerns these degrees but leaves the nature of chance open. The mathematical representation of chance could thus, un-controversially, be taken to be what it is commonly taken to be: a probability measure satisfying Kolmogorov’s axioms. The metaphysical questions about chance (...)
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  14.  46
    Thomas Hofweber (2016). How Metaphysics is Special: Comments on Bennett. Philosophical Studies 173 (1):39-48.
    Karen Bennett argues that there is no distinct problem with metaphysics, and she proposes a disjunctive conception of the subject matter of metaphysics. This paper critically examines her arguments and positive view. I defend that metaphysics prima facie is distinctly problematic, and I raise some questions about Bennett’s disjunctive conception of the subject matter of metaphysics and the a priori aspect of its methodology.
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  15. Thomas Hofweber (2005). A Puzzle About Ontology. Noûs 39 (2):256-283.
    Ontology is the philosophical discipline that tries to find out what there is: what entities make up reality, what is the stuff the world is made from? Thus, ontology is part of metaphysics, and in fact it seems to be about half of all of metaphysics. It tries to establish what (kinds of) things there are, the other half tries to find out what the (general) properties of these things are and what (general) relations they have to each other. Settling (...)
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  16.  62
    Thomas Hofweber (2005). Supervenience and Object-Dependent Properties. Journal of Philosophy 102 (1):5-32.
    I argue that the semantic thesis of direct reference and the meta- physical thesis of the supervenience of the non-physical on the physical cannot both be true. The argument first develops a necessary condition for supervenience, a so-called conditional locality requirement, which is then shown to be incompatible with some physical object having object dependent properties, which in turn is required for the thesis of direct reference to be true. We apply this argument to formulate a new argument against the (...)
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  17. Thomas Hofweber, Is Subjectivity Required in a Material World?
    An under-explored intermediate position between traditional materialism and traditional idealism is the view that although the spatiotemporal world is purely material, minds nonetheless have a metaphysically special place in it. One such intermediate position is that minds must exist, by metaphysical necessity, in any material world, and thus a mindless material world is impossible. This position, labeled The Subjectivity Thesis by Anton Friedrich Koch, was defended by him with an intriguing, purely metaphysical argument that is largely neglected in the contemporary (...)
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  18. Thomas Hofweber (2006). Oxford Studies in Metaphysics.
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  19. Thomas Hofweber (2000). Quantification and Non-Existent Objects. In T. Hofweber & A. Everett (eds.), Empty Names, Fiction, and the Puzzles of Non-Existence. Csli Publications
  20. Thomas Hofweber (2006). Inexpressible Properties and Propositions. In Dean Zimmerman (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics. OUP Oxford 155-206.
    Everyone working on metaphysical questions about properties or propositions knows the reaction that many non-philosophers, even nonmetaphysicians, have to such questions. Even though they agree that Fido is a dog and thus has the property (or feature or characteristic) of being a dog, it seems weird, suspicious, or confused to them to now ask what that thing, the property of being a dog, is. The same reservations do not carry over to asking what this thing, Fido, is. There is a (...)
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  21.  57
    J. David Velleman & Thomas Hofweber (2011). How to Endure. Philosophical Quarterly 61 (242):37 - 57.
    The terms `endurance' and `perdurance' are commonly thought to denote distinct ways for an object to persist, but it is surprisingly hard to say what these are. The common approach, defining them in terms of temporal parts, is mistaken, because it does not lead to two coherent philosophical alternatives: endurance so understood becomes conceptually incoherent, while perdurance becomes not just true but a conceptual truth. Instead, we propose a different way to articulate the distinction, in terms of identity rather than (...)
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  22.  88
    Thomas Hofweber (2006). Schiffer's New Theory of Propositions. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (1):211–217.
    Every fifteen years or so Stephen Schiffer writes a state of the art book on the philosophy of language, with special emphasis on belief ascriptions, meaning, and propositions. The latest is his terrific new book The Things we Mean. It is again full of ideas, insights, arguments, expositions, and theories. For us, however, who believe that that-clauses are first and foremost clauses, not referring expressions, and that they thus do not refer to propositions or anything else, The Things we Mean (...)
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  23. Thomas Hofweber (2001). Review of "Philosophy of Mathematics: An Introduction to the World of Proofs and Pictures" by James Robert Brown. [REVIEW] British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 52 (2):413-416.
  24. Thomas Hofweber, Logic and Ontology. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    A number of important philosophical problems are problems in the overlap of logic and ontology. Both logic and ontology are diverse fields within philosophy, and partly because of this there is not one single philosophical problem about the relation between logic and ontology. In this survey article we will first discuss what different philosophical projects are carried out under the headings of "logic" and "ontology" and then we will look at several areas where logic and ontology overlap.
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  25.  50
    Thomas Hofweber (2007). Validity, Paradox, and the Ideal of Deductive Logic. In J. C. Beall (ed.), Revenge of the Liar: New Essays on the Paradox. Oxford University Press
    I express my dissatisfaction with the common ways to treat the semantic paradoxes. Not only do they give rise to revenge paradoxes, they ignore the wisdom contained in the ordinary reaction to paradoxes. I instead propose an account that vindicates the ordinary reaction to paradox by putting the blame on us philosophers. It is the wrong conception of what a valid inference is, one that is central to “the ideal of deductive logic” that gives rise to the problem. The solution (...)
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  26.  28
    Thomas Hofweber, Extraction, Displacement, and Focus: A Reply to Balcerak Jackson.
    On the one hand they seem to be quite obviously truth conditionally equivalent, but on the other hand they seem to be about different things. Whereas (1) is about Jupiter and its moons, (2) is about numbers. In particular, the word ‘four’ appears in (1) in the position of an adjective or determiner, whereas it seems to be a name for a number in (2). Furthermore, (2) appears to be an identity statement claiming that what two number terms stand for (...)
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  27.  31
    Thomas Hofweber (2007). Review of "Deflating Existential Consequence: A Case for Nominalism" by Jody Azzouni. [REVIEW] Philosophical Review 116 (3):465-467.
    As the title says, this is a book review of Azzouni’s book. I complain that Azzouni proposes an answer to a question, but it is unclear what question he is trying to answer.
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  28.  35
    Thomas Hofweber (2010). Inferential Role and the Ideal of Deductive Logic. The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 5 (1).
    There is a substantial question in the philosophy of language whether understanding a language involves knowledge of some metalinguistic facts about words. Does understanding a language in part consist in knowing what the words in that language mean? Most of the debate about this topic is carried out in the philosophy of language proper, where it seems to belong.1 But recently a subculture of philosophers has emerged who have argued that one of the lessons we must draw from issues in (...)
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  29.  57
    Thomas Hofweber (2000). Proof-Theoretic Reduction as a Philosopher's Tool. Erkenntnis 53 (1-2):127-146.
    Hilbert’s program in the philosophy of mathematics comes in two parts. One part is a technical part. To carry out this part of the program one has to prove a certain technical result. The other part of the program is a philosophical part. It is concerned with philosophical questions that are the real aim of the program. To carry out this part one, basically, has to show why the technical part answers the philosophical questions one wanted to have answered. Hilbert (...)
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  30.  59
    Thomas Hofweber, From Remnants to Things, and Back Again.
    forthcoming in Meanings and other Things: essays on Stephen Schiffer Gary Ostertag (ed.) MIT Press 2007. Schiffer substantially changed his view about propositions and that-clauses somewhere between his two most recent books: Remnants of Meaning and The Things We Mean. I look at what problems his earlier view had, and what reason Schiffer gives for giving it up in favor of his more recent view. I argue that Schiffer’s reasons are not very good reasons, and that instead the problems for (...)
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  31.  57
    Thomas Hofweber, Contextualism and the Meaning-Intention Problem.
    The relevant alternatives approach in epistemology1 arose some years ago partly out of the hope to be able to reconcile our ordinary claims of knowledge with our inability to answer the skeptic. It was supposed to give rise to an account of knowledge according to which our ordinary claims of knowledge are true, even though the claims about our lack of knowledge that the skeptics make in one of their more persuasive moments are also true. To know, according to such (...)
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  32.  15
    Thomas Hofweber (2014). Cardinality Arguments Against Regular Probability Measures. Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 3 (2):166-175.
    Cardinality arguments against regular probability measures aim to show that no matter which ordered field ℍ we select as the measures for probability, we can find some event space F of sufficiently large cardinality such that there can be no regular probability measure from F into ℍ. In particular, taking ℍ to be hyperreal numbers won't help to guarantee that probability measures can always be regular. I argue that such cardinality arguments fail, since they rely on the wrong conception of (...)
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  33.  15
    Thomas Hofweber (2014). Rayo's The Construction of Logical Space. Inquiry 57 (4):442-454.
    I wonder which one in a series of characters Agustín Rayo really is, with an emphasis on objective correctness and semantics.
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  34.  49
    Thomas Hofweber & Jeff Pelletier, Encuneral Noun Phrases.
    The semantics of noun phrases (NPs) is of crucial importance for both philosophy and linguistics. Throughout much of the history of the debate about the semantics of noun phrases there has been an implicit assumption about how they are to be understood. Basically, it is the assumption that NPs come only in two kinds. In this paper we would like to make that assumption explicit and discuss it and its status in the semantics of natural language. We will have a (...)
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  35.  30
    Thomas Hofweber & Paul M. Churchland (2005). Functionalism at Forty: A Critical Retrospective. Journal of Philosophy 102 (1):33 - 50.
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  36.  11
    Thomas Hofweber (2014). Extraction, Displacement, and Focus. Linguistics and Philosophy 37 (3):263-267.
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  37.  2
    Thomas Hofweber (2005). Conceptions of Truth. Philosophical Review 114 (1):136-138.
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  38.  3
    Thomas Hofweber (2001). A Subject with No Subject with No Object. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 62 (3):723.
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  39.  10
    Thomas Hofweber (2001). A Subject with No Object. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 62 (3):723-727.
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  40.  13
    Thomas Hofweber (2010). Review of John P. Burgess, Mathematics, Models, and Modality: Selected Philosophical Essays. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2010 (1).
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  41.  1
    Thomas Hofweber (2007). Deflating Existential Consequence: A Case for Nominalism. Philosophical Review 116 (3):465-467.
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  42. James Robert Brown & Thomas Hofweber (2001). Reviews-Philosophy of Mathematics: An Introduction to the World of Proofs and Pictures. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 52 (2):413.
     
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  43. Anthony Everett & Thomas Hofweber (eds.) (2000). Empty Names, Fiction and the Puzzles of Non-Existence. Center for the Study of Language and Inf.
    Philosophers and theorists have long been puzzled by humans' ability to talk about things that do not exist, or to talk about things that they think exist but, in fact, do not. _Empty Names, Fiction, and the Puzzles of Non-Existence_ is a collection of 13 new works concerning the semantic and metaphysical issues arising from empty names, non-existence, and the nature of fiction. The contributors include some of the most important researchers working in these fields. Some of the papers develop (...)
     
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  44. Thomas Hofweber (2009). Inferential Role and the Ideal of Deductive Logic. Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 5 (1).
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  45.  94
    Thomas Hofweber (1999). Ontology and Objectivity. Dissertation, Stanford University
    Ontology is the study of what there is, what kinds of things make up reality. Ontology seems to be a very difficult, rather speculative discipline. However, it is trivial to conclude that there are properties, propositions and numbers, starting from only necessarily true or analytic premises. This gives rise to a puzzle about how hard ontological questions are, and relates to a puzzle about how important they are. And it produces the ontologyobjectivity dilemma: either (certain) ontological questions can be trivially (...)
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  46. Thomas Hofweber (2016). Ontology and the Ambitions of Metaphysics. Oxford University Press Uk.
    Many significant problems in metaphysics are tied to ontological questions, but ontology and its relation to larger questions in metaphysics give rise to a series of puzzles that suggest that we don't fully understand what ontology is supposed to do, nor what ambitions metaphysics can have for finding out about what the world is like. Thomas Hofweber aims to solve these puzzles about ontology and consequently to make progress on four metaphysical debates tied to ontology: the philosophy of arithmetic, the (...)
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  47. Thomas Hofweber (2007). Review of Jody Azzouni's Deflating Existential Consquence. [REVIEW] Philosophical Review 116 (3):465-467.
     
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  48. Thomas Hofweber (2005). Supervenience and Object-Dependant Properties. Journal of Philosophy 102 (1):5-32.
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  49. Thomas Hofweber (2006). Semantica e ontologia-Un enigma per l'ontologia. Rivista di Estetica 32:41.
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  50. Thomas Hofweber (2008). Towards Non-Being: The Logic and Metaphysics of Intentionality. [REVIEW] Bulletin of Symbolic Logic 14 (1):116-117.
     
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