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Alan Sidelle
University of Wisconsin, Madison
  1. Necessity, Essence, and Individuation: A Defense of Conventionalism.Alan Sidelle - 1989 - Cornell University Press.
  2. Is There a True Metaphysics of Material Objects?Alan Sidelle - 2002 - Noûs 36 (s1):118-145.
    I argue that metaphysical views of material objects should be understood as 'packages', rather than individual claims, where the other parts of the package include how the theory addresses 'recalcitant data', and that when the packages meet certain general desiderata - which all of the currently competing views *can* meet - there is nothing in the world that could make one of the theories true as opposed to any of the others.
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  3. Does Hylomorphism Offer a Distinctive Solution to the Grounding Problem?Alan Sidelle - 2014 - Analysis 74 (3):397-404.
    The Aristotelian doctrine of hylomorphism has seen a recent resurgence of popularity, due to the work of a number of well-known and impressive philosophers. One of the recently motivating virtues claimed for the doctrine is its ability to solve the grounding problem for philosophers who believe in coinciding entities. In this brief article, I will argue that when fully spelled out, hylomorphism does not, in fact, contribute a distinctive solution to this problem. It is not that it offers no solution (...)
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  4.  86
    The Answering Machine Paradox.Alan Sidelle - 1991 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 21 (4):525--539.
    According to an intuitive semantics for 'I,' 'here' and 'now,' 'I am not here now' should always be false when uttered. But occurrences of 'I am not here now' on an answering machine seem to be true (when the speaker is not home). A number of possible solutions are considered and rejected, and a novel solution offered introducing the notion of a 'deferred utterance,' which allows for non-mysterious sort of action at a distance.
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  5. Modality and Objects.Alan Sidelle - 2010 - Philosophical Quarterly 60 (238):109-125.
    A not-unpopular position in the metaphysics of material objects (Ted Sider's, for instance) combines realism about what objects there are and the conditions of objecthood with conventionalism about de re modality. I argue that this is not a coherent combination of views: one must go fully conventionalist, or fully realist. The central argument displays the difficulty for the modal conventionalist/object realist in specifying the object that satisfies de re modal predicates. I argue that if this is a mind-independent object, contradictions (...)
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  6.  57
    Necessity, Essence, and Individuation: A Defense of Conventionalism.Stephen Yablo & Alan Sidelle - 1992 - Philosophical Review 101 (4):878.
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  7. On the Metaphysical Contingency of Laws of Nature.Alan Sidelle - 2002 - In John Hawthorne & Tamar Szabó Gendler (eds.), Conceivability and Possibility. Oxford University Press. pp. 309--336.
    This paper defends the traditional view that the laws of nature are contingent, or, if some of them are necessary, this is due to analytic principles for the individuation of the law-governed properties. Fundamentally, I argue that the supposed explanatory purposes served by taking the laws to be necessary --showing how laws support counterfactuals, how properties are individuated, or how we have knowledge of properties--are in fact undermined by the continued possibility of the imagined scenarios--this time, described neutrally--which seemed to (...)
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  8. A Sweater Unraveled: Following One Thread of Thought for Avoiding Coincident Entities.Alan Sidelle - 1998 - Noûs 32 (4):423-448.
    One obvious solution to the puzzles of apparently coincident objects is a sort of reductionism - the tree really just is the wood, the statue is just the clay, and nothing really ceases to exist in the purported non-identity showing cases. This paper starts with that approach and its underlying motivation, and argues that if one follows those motivations - specifically, the rejection of coincidence, and the belief that 'genuine' object-destroying changes must differ non-arbitrarily from accidental changes, that one can (...)
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  9.  16
    Remnants of Meaning. [REVIEW]Alan Sidelle - 1990 - Philosophical Review 99 (2):255.
    Review of Stephen Schiffer Remnants of Meaning.
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  10. Conventionalism and the Contingency of Conventions.Alan Sidelle - 2009 - Noûs 43 (2):224-241.
    One common objection to Conventionalism about modality is that since it is contingent what our conventions are, the modal facts themselves will thereby be contingent. A standard reply is that Conventionalists can accept this, if they reject the S4 axiom, that what is possibly possible is possible. I first argue that this reply is inadequate, but then continue to argue that it is not needed, because the Conventionalist need not concede that the contingency of our conventions has any bearing on (...)
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  11. The Method of Verbal Dispute.Alan Sidelle - 2007 - Philosophical Topics 35 (1/2):83-113.
    The idea that disputes which are heated, and apparently important, may nonetheless be 'merely verbal' or 'just semantic' is surely no stranger to any philosopher. I urge that many disputes, both in and out of philosophy, are indeed plausibly considered verbal, and that it would repay us to more frequently consider whether they are so or not. Asking this question is what I call ‘The Method of Verbal Dispute’. Neither the notion nor the method of verbal dispute is new. What (...)
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  12.  65
    Coincidence: The Grounding Problem, Object-Specifying Principles, and Some Consequences.Alan Sidelle - 2016 - Philosophical Papers 45 (3):497-528.
    This paper lays out the basic structure of any view involving coincident entities, in the light of the grounding problem. While the account is not novel, I highlight fundamental features, to which attention is not usually properly drawn. With this in place, I argue for a number of further claims: The basic differences between coincident objects are modal differences, and any other differences between them need to be explained in terms of these differences. More specifically, the basic difference is not (...)
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  13. Rigidity, Ontology, and Semantic Structure.Alan Sidelle - 1992 - Journal of Philosophy 89 (8):410-430.
  14. Innoculi Innocula.Alan Sidelle - 2002 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64 (2):409 - 411.
    In “Innocuous Infallibility,” Earl Conee argues that the infallibility to which I argue Internalism is committed, in “An Argument that Internalism Requires Infallibility,” is harmless and trivial. I maintain that this overlooks the fact that Internalism makes use of an intuitive notion of ‘epistemic twinhood’ to drive its position, rather than one antecedently defined with a filled-out notion of ‘relevant epistemic circumstances’. Conee is correct that any theory requires, and trivially gets, some sort of infallibility---but it is not trivial that (...)
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  15. Frameworks and Deflation in “Empiricism, Semantics and Ontology” and Recent Metametaphysics.Alan Sidelle - 2016 - In Stephan Blatti Sandra Lapointe (ed.), Ontology after Carnap. pp. 59-80.
    ABSTRACT: Rudolf Carnap’s “Empiricism, Semantics and Ontology” (ESO) has received a good deal of sympathetic interest over the years from philosophers who are not particularly sympathetic to verificationism, or suspicious of metaphysics in general. Recent work has favorably cited ESO in connection with doubts about the genuine content of debates in the metaphysics of material objects. But, when we look at how Carnap introduces his central notion of a ‘framework’, and the questions he wants to use it to deflate, there (...)
     
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  16. Identity and the Identity-Like.Alan Sidelle - 1992 - Philosophical Topics 20 (1):269-292.
    Some relations - like supervenience and composition - can appear very much like identity. Sometimes, the relata differ only in modal, or modally-involved features. Yet, in some cases, we judge the pairs to be identical (water/H2O; Hesperus/Phosphorus), while in others, many judge one of the weaker relations to hold (c-fiber firing/pain; statues/lumps). Given the seemingly same actual properties these pairs have, what can justify us in sometimes believing identity is the relation, and sometimes something weaker? I argue that it can (...)
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  17.  7
    Rigidity, Ontology, and Semantic Structure.Alan Sidelle - 1992 - Journal of Philosophy 89 (8):410.
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  18. Finding an Intrinsic Account of Identity: What is the Source of Duplication Cases?Alan Sidelle - 2000 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 61 (2):415-430.
    Many philosophers believe that identity through time cannot depend on features extrinsic to the relata and relations between them. This goes with the view that one must deny identity in cases for which there is a ‘duplication case’-a case just like the first, but for an additional, ‘external’ element which provides an equal or better ‘candidate’ for identity with one of the relata. Such friends of intrinsicness cannot remedy the failure of continuity of function/form to be one-one by non-branching or (...)
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  19.  11
    Identity and the Identity-Like.Alan Sidelle - 1992 - Philosophical Topics 20 (1):269-292.
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  20. Necessity, Essence, and Individuation: A Defense of Conventionalism.Alan Sidelle - 1989 - Mind 99 (396):635-637.
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  21.  70
    What’s Wrong with Being Strange?Alan Sidelle - 1996 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 56 (1):209-215.
    Contribution to symposium on Eli Hirsch's Dividing Reality.
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  22. The Structure of Objects. [REVIEW]Alan Sidelle - 2010 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (2):371-374.
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  23.  60
    Occasions of Identity: The Metaphysics of Persistence, Change, and Sameness. [REVIEW]Alan Sidelle - 2000 - Philosophical Review 109 (3):469-471.
    Review of Andre Gallois,' Occasions of identity: The metaphysics of persistence, change, and sameness.
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  24.  20
    A Companion to Metaphysics. [REVIEW]Alan Sidelle, Jaegwon Kim & Ernest Sosa - 1996 - Philosophical Review 105 (3):418.
    This volume is an encyclopedia, with entries on philosophers, issues, views, and concepts in metaphysics, pretty broadly construed. I must admit that I was at first dubious about the value of such a book, particularly with the Encyclopedia of Philosophy being updated, and the new Routledge Encyclopedia coming out. But the Companion has a number of virtues that make it a useful resource for both students and professional philosophers.
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  25.  78
    An Argument That Internalism Requires Infallibility.Alan Sidelle - 2001 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 63 (1):163-179.
    Most contemporary internalists are fallibilists, denying that there need be anything about which we are infallible for us to have knowledge or justified beliefs. At the same time, internalists standardly appeal to ‘internal twins’ in arguing against externalism and motivating internalism---a Cartesian demon can ruin the ‘external’ relations we have to the world, but one is equally well justified in one’s beliefs whether or not one is subject to such deception. Even if one doesn’t motivate one’s internalism by appeal to (...)
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  26.  57
    Thought Experiments in Philosophy. [REVIEW]Alan Sidelle & Soren Haggqvist - 1998 - Philosophical Review 107 (3):480.
    Thought experiments are the philosopher's stock-in-trade. Much recent disparagement hasn't diminished their use or apparent essentiality to philosophical investigation. The simple reason is that we have no alternative way to support or test modal claims, and while some may advocate abandoning such claims, to most of us, that sounds tantamount to just abandoning philosophy. So that leaves us looking for a better understanding of thought experiments and how they work; fortunately, this has been receiving more explicit philosophical attention. The present, (...)
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  27. Ordinary Objects – Amie Thomasson. [REVIEW]Alan Sidelle - 2008 - Philosophical Quarterly 58 (230):172–176.
  28.  54
    On the Prospects for a Theory of Personal Identity.Alan Sidelle - 1999 - Philosophical Topics 26 (1/2):351-72.
    Much specific support for theories of personal identity comes from data which is really about 'what matters' in identity. I argue that if we accept Parfit's arguments that identity is not sufficient for what matters, then we should think our subject matter is actually underdetermined and indefinite, and there can be no correct answer to the question 'Under what conditions is P2 identical to P!?'.
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  29.  72
    A Misleading Question?Alan Sidelle - 2004 - Think 2 (6):67-72.
    When people ask "what is the meaning of life?", exactly, are they asking? And does God provide us with an answer? Alan Sidelle investigates.
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  30.  84
    A Semantic Account of Rigidity.Alan Sidelle - 1995 - Philosophical Studies 80 (1):69 - 105.
    I offer an understanding of what it is for a term to be rigid which makes no serious metaphysical commitments to or about identity across possible worlds. What makes a term rigid is not that it 'refers to the same object(property) with respect to all worlds' - rather (roughly) it is that the criteria of application for the term with respect to other worlds, when combined with the criteria of identity associated with the term, ensure that whatever meets the criteria (...)
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  31.  13
    Finding an Intrinsic Account of Identity: What is the Source of Duplication Cases?Alan Sidelle - 2000 - Philosophical and Phenomenological Research 61 (2):415-430.
    Many philosophers believe that identity through time cannot depend on features extrinsic to the relata and relations between them. This goes with the view that one must deny identity in cases for which there is a `duplication case'-a case just like the first, but for an additional, `external' element which provides an equal or better `candidate' for identity with one of the relata. Such friends of intrinsicness cannot remedy the failure of continuity of function/form to be one-one by non-branching or (...)
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  32.  44
    Formed Matter Without Objects: A Reply to Denkel.Alan Sidelle - 1991 - Dialogue 30 (1-2):163-.
    A reply to Arda Denkel's argument that it is not possible to have matter without objects. I argue that the argument assumes that having a 'form' is being sufficient for the existence of an object, which the opponent should not be thought to grant.
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  33.  21
    Some Episodes in the Sameness of Consciousness.Alan Sidelle - 2002 - Philosophical Topics 30 (1):269-293.
  34.  74
    Review of Theodore Sider, John Hawthorne, Dean W. Zimmerman (Eds.), Contemporary Debates in Metaphysics[REVIEW]Alan Sidelle - 2008 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2008 (6).
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  35.  17
    Occasions of Identity: The Metaphysics of Persistence, Change, and Sameness.Alan Sidelle & Andre Gallois - 2000 - Philosophical Review 109 (3):469.
    André Gallois’s Occasions of Identity is a detailed, well-written presentation and defense of one attempt to solve many of the recently much discussed puzzles in the metaphysics of material objects. It is engaging not only for Gallois’s ingenious attempt to defend his view that objects can be “occasionally identical”—identical at one time but not another —but for his discussion throughout of the puzzles and of alternative solutions. Gallois does a fine job of keeping the motivations for a position, whether his (...)
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  36.  13
    On the Prospects for a Theory of Personal Identity.Alan Sidelle - 1999 - Philosophical Topics 26 (1/2):351-372.
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  37.  20
    Language and Time. [REVIEW]Alan Sidelle - 1995 - Review of Metaphysics 48 (3):679-681.
    Review of Quentin Smith Language and Time.
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  38. The Philosophy of Sydney Shoemaker.Richard Moran, Alan Sidelle & Jennifer E. Whiting (eds.) - 2000 - University of Arkansas Press.
  39. Necessity and Essence: A Defense of Conventionalism.Alan Sidelle - 1986 - Dissertation, Cornell University
    Plausible recent arguments for the existence of necessary truths a posteriori have led many philosophers to believe, at least implicitly, that conventionalism about necessity is false, and that necessity is in fact a real-world quantity. Necessary truths, on this view, are no more independent upon our linguistic conventions than any other truths; assertions of necessity and essential predications are, like any other claims, true or false as they correspond or not to a wholly independent reality. I believe that this view (...)
     
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