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Summary Local debunking arguments in metaphysics allege that, for some putative type of metaphysical phenomenon F, there is a complete etiological explanation of our reasons for believing that there are Fs that does not involve the mind-independent existence of the Fs themselves. Once we realize this, the local debunker alleges, our F-beliefs thereby lose whatever initial justification they may have enjoyed. Belief about composite material objects, abstract objects, modal facts, temporal facts, causation, grounding facts, essence, consciousness, and race and gender facts have all been the targets of local debunking arguments. Global debunking arguments target our justification for engaging in any sort of metaphysical or ontological theorizing at all. For example, some global debunkers argue that empirical results from experimental philosophy demonstrate that a priori intuition, which is arguably the basis for most contemporary metaphysical theorizing, is systematically unreliable.
Key works Debunking arguments targeting perceptual beliefs about ordinary composite objects have received extensive discussion. See especially Korman 2014, Rose & Schaffer 2017, and Merricks forthcoming. For debunking in other areas of metaphysics, see Rea 2002 on modal facts, Paul 2010 on temporal facts, Chalmers 2020 on consciousness, Haslanger 2003 on race and gender facts, and Miller & Norton 2017 on grounding facts. 
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  1. Proper Names, Rigidity, and Empirical Studies on Judgments of Identity Across Transformations.Vilius Dranseika, Jonas Dagys & Renatas Berniūnas - 2020 - Topoi 39 (2):381-388.
    The question of transtemporal identity of objects in general and persons in particular is an important issue in both philosophy and psychology. While the focus of philosophers traditionally was on questions of the nature of identity relation and criteria that allow to settle ontological issues about identity, psychologists are mostly concerned with how people think about identity, and how they track identity of objects and people through time. In this article, we critically engage with widespread use of inferring folk judgments (...)
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  2. James Ladyman und Don Ross. Every Thing Must Go - Metaphysics Naturalized (2007) [Rezension].Johannes Heinle - manuscript
    Eine Rezension des Buches "Every Thing Must Go - Metaphysics Naturalized" von James Ladyman und Don Ross.
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  3. Judgements of Metaphysical Explanations Are Context Sensitive.Andrew James Latham & Kristie Miller - manuscript
    Empirical investigation of the conditions under which people prefer, or disprefer, causal explanation, has suggested to many that our judgements about what causally explains what are context sensitive in a number of ways. This has led many to suppose that whether or not a causal explanation obtains depends on various contextual factors, and that said explanations can obtain in one context, and not in another: they are both subjective and agent-relative. Surprisingly, most accounts of metaphysical explanation suppose there to be (...)
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  4. Eliminativism and Evolutionary Debunking.Jeffrey N. Bagwell - forthcoming - Ergo.
    Eliminativists sometimes invoke evolutionary debunking arguments against ordinary object beliefs, either to help them establish object skepticism or to soften the appeal of commonsense ontology. I argue that object debunkers face a self-defeat problem: their conclusion undermines the scientific support for one of their premises, because evolutionary biology depends on our object beliefs. Using work on reductionism and multiple realizability from the philosophy of science, I argue that it will not suffice for an eliminativist debunker to simply appeal to some (...)
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  5. How to Be a Compatibilist in Metaphysics: The Epistemic Strategy.Massimiliano Carrara & Vittorio Morato - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-25.
    Conflicts between our best philosophical theories (BPTs) and our common beliefs are widespread. For example, if eliminativism is our BPT, then our BPT conflicts with common beliefs about the existence of middle-sized composite artifacts. “Compatibilism” is the name usually given to a theoretical attitude, according to which, in the case of a conflict between BPT and a common belief P, we should try to find a reconciliation. The two major variants of compatibilism are “semantic compatibilism” (SC) and “cognitive compatibilism” (CC). (...)
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  6. An Epistemological Problem for Minimalist Views About Composition.Dean Da Vee - forthcoming - Synthese:1-20.
    Some philosophers accept what I call minimalist views about composition. They either deny that composition ever occurs, or they only allow that composition occurs when some things are taken up into a life. While minimalists often take their views to be somewhat revisionary, they usually want to distinguish their views from truly radical views such as the view that there is no external world at all. They often do this by noting that, although they don’t believe that there are tables, (...)
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  7. On Debunking Color Realism.Daniel Z. Korman & Dustin Locke - forthcoming - In Diego E. Machuca (ed.), Evolutionary Debunking Arguments. Routledge.
    You see a cherry and you experience it as red. A textbook explanation for why you have this sort of experience is going to cite such things as the cherry’s chemical surface properties and the distinctive mixture wavelengths of light it is disposed to reflect. What does not show up in this explanation is the redness of the cherry. Many allege that the availability of color-free explanations of color experience somehow calls into question our beliefs about the colors of objects (...)
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  8. Intuitions About Objects: From Teleology to Elimination.David Mark Kovacs - forthcoming - Mind:fzz071.
    In a series of recent papers, David Rose and Jonathan Schaffer use a number of experiments to show that folk intuitions about composition and persistence are driven by pre-scientific teleological tendencies. They argue that these intuitions are fit for debunking and that the playing field for competing accounts of composition and persistence should therefore be considered even: no view draws more support from folk intuitions than its rivals, and the choice between them should be made exclusively on the basis of (...)
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  9. An Imaginative Person’s Guide to Objective Modality.Derek Lam - forthcoming - In Amy Kind & Christopher Badura (eds.), Epistemic Uses of Imagination. Routledge.
    Imagination is a source of evidence for objective modality. It is through this epistemic connection that the idea of modality first gains traction in our intellectual life. A proper theory of modality should be able to explain our imagination’s modal epistemic behaviors. This chapter highlights a peculiar asymmetry regarding epistemic defeat for imagination-based modal justification. Whereas imagination-based evidence for possibility cannot be undermined by information about the causal origin of our imaginings, unimaginability-based evidence for impossibility can be undermined by information (...)
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  10. Are the Folk Functionalists About Time?Andrew James Latham & Kristie Miller - forthcoming - Southern Journal of Philosophy.
    This paper empirically investigates the contention that the folk concept of time is a functional concept: a concept according to which time is whatever plays a certain functional role or roles. This hypothesis could explain why, in previous research, surprisingly large percentages of participants judge that there is time at worlds that contain no one-dimensional substructure of ordered instants. If it seems to participants that even in those worlds the relevant functional role is played, then this could explain why they (...)
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  11. Do the Folk Represent Time as Essentially Dynamical?Andrew James Latham, Kristie Miller & James Norton - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Recent research (Latham, Miller and Norton, forthcoming) reveals that a majority of people represent actual time as dynamical. But do they, as suggested by McTaggart and Gödel, represent time as essentially dynamical? This paper distinguishes three interrelated questions. We ask (a) whether the folk representation of time is sensitive or insensitive: i.e., does what satisfies the folk representation of time in counterfactual worlds depend on what satisfies it actually—sensitive—or does is not depend on what satisfies it actually—insensitive, and (b) do (...)
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  12. Do Ordinary Objects Exist? No.Trenton Merricks - forthcoming - In Elizabeth Barnes (ed.), Current Controversies in Metaphysics. Routledge.
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  13. Cognitive Science for the Revisionary Metaphysician.David Rose - forthcoming - In Alvin Goldman & Brian P. McLaughlin (eds.), Cognitive Science and Metaphysics. Oxford University Press.
    Many philosophers insist that the revisionary metaphysician—i.e., the metaphysician who offers a metaphysical theory which conflicts with folk intuitions—bears a special burden to explain why certain folk intuitions are mistaken. I show how evidence from cognitive science can help revisionist discharge this explanatory burden. Focusing on composition and persistence, I argue that empirical evidence indicates that the folk operate with a promiscuous teleomentalist view of composition and persistence. The folk view, I argue, deserves to be debunked. In this way, I (...)
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  14. Mentalizing Objects.David Rose - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy 4.
    We have a mentalistic view of objects. This is due to the interdependence of folk psychology and folk physics, where these are interconnected by what I call Teleological Commingling. When considering events that don’t involve agents, we naturally default to tracking intentions, goal-directed processes, despite the fact that agents aren’t involved. We have a deep-seated intentionality bias which is the result of the pervasive detection of agency cues, such as order or non-randomness. And this gives rise to the Agentive Worldview: (...)
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  15. The Ship of Theseus Puzzle.David Rose, Edouard Machery, Stephen Stich, Mario Alai, Adriano Angelucci, Renatas Berniūnas, Emma E. Buchtel, Amita Chatterjee, Hyundeuk Cheon, In-Rae Cho, Daniel Cohnitz, Florian Cova, Vilius Dranseika, Angeles Eraña Lagos, Laleh Ghadakpour, Maurice Grinberg, Ivar Hannikainen, Takaaki Hashimoto, Amir Horowitz, Evgeniya Hristova, Yasmina Jraissati, Veselina Kadreva, Kaori Karasawa, Hackjin Kim, Yeonjeong Kim, Min-Woo Lee, Carlos Mauro, Masaharu Mizumoto, Sebastiano Moruzzi, Christopher Y. Olivola, Jorge Ornelas, Barbara Osimani, Alejandro Rosas, Carlos Romero, Massimo Sangoi, Andrea Sereni, Sarah Songhorian, Paulo Sousa, Noel Struchiner, Vera Tripodi, Naoki Usui, Alejandro Vázquez Del Vázquez Del Mercado, Giorgio Volpe, Hrag A. Vosgerichian, Xueyi Zhang & Jing Zhu - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy 3.
    Does the Ship of Theseus present a genuine puzzle about persistence due to conflicting intuitions based on “continuity of form” and “continuity of matter” pulling in opposite directions? Philosophers are divided. Some claim that it presents a genuine puzzle but disagree over whether there is a solution. Others claim that there is no puzzle at all since the case has an obvious solution. To assess these proposals, we conducted a cross-cultural study involving nearly 3,000 people across twenty-two countries, speaking eighteen (...)
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  16. The True Self: A Psychological Concept Distinct From the Self.Nina Strohminger, Joshua Knobe & George Newman - forthcoming - Perspectives on Psychological Science.
    A long tradition of psychological research has explored the distinction between characteristics that are part of the self and those that lie outside of it. Recently, a surge of research has begun examining a further distinction. Even among characteristics that are internal to the self, people pick out a subset as belonging to the true self. These factors are judged as making people who they really are, deep down. In this paper, we introduce the concept of the true self and (...)
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  17. Ontological Disagreements, Reliability, and Standoffs: The Pluralist Option.Delia Belleri - 2021 - Metaphilosophy 52 (3-4):348-362.
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  18. An Empirical Investigation of the Role of Direction in our Concept of Time.Andrew James Latham, Kristie Miller & James Norton - 2021 - Acta Analytica 36 (1):25-47.
    This paper empirically investigates one aspect of the folk concept of time by testing how the presence or absence of directedness impacts judgements about whether there is time in a world. Experiment 1 found that dynamists, showed significantly higher levels of agreement that there is time in dynamically directed worlds than in non-dynamical non-directed worlds. Comparing our results to those we describe in Latham et al., we report that while ~ 70% of dynamists say there is time in B-theory worlds, (...)
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  19. Is Our Naïve Theory of Time Dynamical?Andrew James Latham, Kristie Miller & James Norton - 2021 - Synthese 198 (5):4251-4271.
    We investigated, experimentally, the contention that the folk view, or naïve theory, of time, amongst the population we investigated is dynamical. We found that amongst that population, ~ 70% have an extant theory of time that is more similar to a dynamical than a non-dynamical theory, and ~ 70% of those who deploy a naïve theory of time deploy a naïve theory that is more similar to a dynamical than a non-dynamical theory. Interestingly, while we found stable results across our (...)
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  20. Sensitivity, Safety, and Impossible Worlds.Guido Melchior - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (3):713-729.
    Modal knowledge accounts that are based on standards possible-worlds semantics face well-known problems when it comes to knowledge of necessities. Beliefs in necessities are trivially sensitive and safe and, therefore, trivially constitute knowledge according to these accounts. In this paper, I will first argue that existing solutions to this necessity problem, which accept standard possible-worlds semantics, are unsatisfactory. In order to solve the necessity problem, I will utilize an unorthodox account of counterfactuals, as proposed by Nolan, on which we also (...)
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  21. What Counts as a ‘Good’ Metaphysical Language?J. T. M. Miller - 2021 - In James Miller (ed.), The Language of Ontology. Oxford University Press. pp. 102-118.
    The objectively best language is intended to refer to some metaphysically privileged language that ‘carves reality at its joints’ perfectly. That is, it is the kind of language that various ‘metaphysical deflationists’ have argued is impossible. One common line of argument amongst deflationists is that we have no means to compare languages that all express true facts about the world in such a way to decide which is ‘better’. For example, the language is physics is not objectively better than the (...)
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  22. Easy Ontology, Regress, and Holism.James Miller - 2021 - Erkenntnis:1-14.
    In this paper, I distinguish between two possible versions of Amie Thomasson’s easy ontology project that differ in virtue of positing atomic or holistic application conditions, and evaluate the strengths of a holistic version over a non-holistic version. In particular, I argue that neither of the recently identified regress or circularity problems are troublesome for the supporter of easy ontology if they adopt a holistic account of application conditions. This is not intended to be a defence of easy ontology from (...)
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  23. Debunking Arguments and Metaphysical Laws.Jonathan Barker - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (7):1829-1855.
    I argue that one’s views about which “metaphysical laws” obtain—including laws about what is identical with what, about what is reducible to what, and about what grounds what—can be used to deflect or neutralize the threat posed by a debunking explanation. I use a well-known debunking argument in the metaphysics of material objects as a case study. Then, after defending the proposed strategy from the charge of question-begging, I close by showing how the proposed strategy can be used by certain (...)
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  24. Coincidence Avoidance and Formulating the Access Problem.Sharon Berry - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy.
    In this article, I discuss a trivialization worry for Hartry Field’s official formulation of the access problem for mathematical realists, which was pointed out by Øystein Linnebo (and has recently been made much of by Justin Clarke-Doane). I argue that various attempted reformulations of the Benacerraf problem fail to block trivialization, but that access worriers can better defend themselves by sticking closer to Hartry Field’s initial informal characterization of the access problem in terms of (something like) general epistemic norms of (...)
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  25. Justin Clarke-Doane* Morality and Mathematics.Michael Bevan & A. C. Paseau - 2020 - Philosophia Mathematica 28 (3):442-446.
    _Justin Clarke-Doane* * Morality and Mathematics. _ Oxford University Press, 2020. Pp. xx + 208. ISBN: 978-0-19-882366-7 ; 978-0-19-2556806.† †.
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  26. Conservatism, Counterexamples and Debunking.Daniel Z. Korman - 2020 - Analysis 80 (3):558-574.
    A symposium on my *Objects: Nothing Out of the Ordinary* (2015). In response to Wallace, I attempt to clarify the dialectical and epistemic role that my arguments from counterexamples were meant to play, I provide a limited defense of the comparison to the Gettier examples, and I embrace the comparison to Moorean anti-skeptical arguments. In response to deRosset, I provide a clearer formulation of conservatism, explain how a conservative should think about the interaction between intuition and science, and discuss what (...)
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  27. Quantum Gravity, Timelessness, and the Folk Concept of Time.Andrew James Latham & Kristie Miller - 2020 - Synthese 198 (10):9453-9478.
    What it would take to vindicate folk temporal error theory? This question is significant against a backdrop of new views in quantum gravity—so-called timeless physical theories—that claim to eliminate time by eliminating a one-dimensional substructure of ordered temporal instants. Ought we to conclude that if these views are correct, nothing satisfies the folk concept of time and hence that folk temporal error theory is true? In light of evidence we gathered, we argue that physical theories that entirely eliminate an ordered (...)
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  28. Debunking Logical Ground: Distinguishing Metaphysics From Semantics.Michaela Markham McSweeney - 2020 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 6 (2):156-170.
    Many philosophers take purportedly logical cases of ground ) to be obvious cases, and indeed such cases have been used to motivate the existence of and importance of ground. I argue against this. I do so by motivating two kinds of semantic determination relations. Intuitions of logical ground track these semantic relations. Moreover, our knowledge of semantics for first order logic can explain why we have such intuitions. And, I argue, neither semantic relation can be a species of ground even (...)
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  29. Folk teleology drives persistence judgments.David Rose, Jonathan Schaffer & Kevin Tobia - 2020 - Synthese 197 (12):5491-5509.
    Two separate research programs have revealed two different factors that feature in our judgments of whether some entity persists. One program—inspired by Knobe—has found that normative considerations affect persistence judgments. For instance, people are more inclined to view a thing as persisting when the changes it undergoes lead to improvements. The other program—inspired by Kelemen—has found that teleological considerations affect persistence judgments. For instance, people are more inclined to view a thing as persisting when it preserves its purpose. Our goal (...)
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  30. Perception and Ordinary Objects.Alex Byrne - 2019 - In Javier Cumpa & Bill Brewer (eds.), The Nature of Ordinary Objects. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
    The paper argues -- against the standard view in metaphysics -- that the existence of ordinary objects like tomatoes is (near-enough) established by the fact that such things are apparently encountered in perception.
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  31. Unbunking Arguments: A Case Study in Metaphysics and Cognitive Science.Christopher Fruge - 2019 - In Alvin Goldman & Brian McLaughlin (eds.), Metaphysics and Cognitive Science. pp. 384-402.
    This chapter develops a style of argument that realists can use to defend the methodological propriety of appealing to a given range of intuitions. Unbunking arguments are an epistemically positive analogue of debunking arguments, and they revolve around the claim that the processes dominantly responsible for beliefs about a given domain are reliable. However, processes cannot always be assessed for accuracy with respect to the relevant domain, so this chapter also develops the cross-domain strategy, which involves arguing that processes known (...)
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  32. Metaphysics and Cognitive Science.Alvin I. Goldman & Brian P. McLaughlin (eds.) - 2019 - Oxford University Press.
    Introduction Alvin I. Goldman and Brian P. McLaughlin Section I: What Might Be the Role of Cognitive Science in Metaphysics? Chapter 1: Time Lost, Time Regained Craig Callender Chapter 2: Cognitive Science and Metaphysics: Partners in Debunking Jonathan Schaffer Section II: Ethics and Cognitive Science Chapter 3: Moral Metaphysics, Moral Psychology, and the Cognitive Sciences Peter Railton Chapter 4: Debunking and Vindicating in Moral Psychology Shaun Nichols Section III: God and Cognitive Science Chapter 5: On Perceiving God: Prospects for a (...)
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  33. Metaphysics and Social Justice.Aaron M. Griffith - 2019 - Philosophy Compass 14 (6).
    Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that aims to give a theoretical account of what there is and what it is like. Social justice movements seek to bring about justice in a society by changing policy, law, practice, and culture. Evidently, these activities are very different from one another. The goal of this article is to identify some positive connections between recent work in metaphysics and social justice movements. I outline three ways in which metaphysical work on social reality can (...)
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  34. Modal Objectivity1.Clarke-Doane Justin - 2019 - Noûs:266-295.
    It is widely agreed that the intelligibility of modal metaphysics has been vindicated. Quine's arguments to the contrary supposedly confused analyticity with metaphysical necessity, and rigid with non-rigid designators.2 But even if modal metaphysics is intelligible, it could be misconceived. It could be that metaphysical necessity is not absolute necessity – the strictest real notion of necessity – and that no proposition of traditional metaphysical interest is necessary in every real sense. If there were nothing otherwise “uniquely metaphysically significant” about (...)
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  35. Debunking Arguments.Daniel Z. Korman - 2019 - Philosophy Compass 14 (12).
    Debunking arguments—also known as etiological arguments, genealogical arguments, access problems, isolation objec- tions, and reliability challenges—arise in philosophical debates about a diverse range of topics, including causation, chance, color, consciousness, epistemic reasons, free will, grounding, laws of nature, logic, mathematics, modality, morality, natural kinds, ordinary objects, religion, and time. What unifies the arguments is the transition from a premise about what does or doesn't explain why we have certain mental states to a negative assessment of their epistemic status. I examine (...)
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  36. Debunking Arguments in Metaethics and Metaphysics.Daniel Z. Korman - 2019 - In Alvin Goldman & Brian McLaughlin (eds.), Metaphysics and Cognitive Science. Oxford University Press. pp. 337-363.
    Evolutionary debunking arguments abound, but it is widely assumed that they do not arise for our perceptual beliefs about midsized objects, insofar as the adaptive value of our object beliefs cannot be explained without reference to the objects themselves. I argue that this is a mistake. Just as with moral beliefs, the adaptive value of our object beliefs can be explained without assuming that the beliefs are accurate. I then explore the prospects for other sorts of vindications of our object (...)
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  37. How to Be an Uncompromising Revisionary Ontologist.David Mark Kovacs - 2019 - Synthese 198 (3):2129-2152.
    Revisionary ontologies seem to go against our common sense convictions about which material objects exist. These views face the so-called Problem of Reasonableness: they have to explain why reasonable people don’t seem to accept the true ontology. Most approaches to this problem treat the mismatch between the ontological truth and ordinary belief as superficial or not even real. By contrast, I propose what I call the “uncompromising solution”. First, I argue that our beliefs about material objects were influenced by evolutionary (...)
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  38. Teleological Essentialism.David Rose & Shaun Nichols - 2019 - Cognitive Science 43 (4):e12725.
    Placeholder essentialism is the view that there is a causal essence that holds category members together, though we may not know what the essence is. Sometimes the placeholder can be filled in by scientific essences, such as when we acquire scientific knowledge that the atomic weight of gold is 79. We challenge the view that placeholders are elaborated by scientific essences. On our view, if placeholders are elaborated, they are elaborated Aristotelian essences, a telos. Utilizing the same kinds of experiments (...)
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  39. Epistemological Motivations for Anti-Realism.Billy Dunaway - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (11):2763-2789.
    Anti-realism is often claimed to be preferable to realism on epistemological grounds: while realists have difficulty explaining how we can ever know claims if we are realists about it, anti-realism faces no analogous problem. This paper focuses on anti-realism about normativity to investigate this alleged advantage to anti-realism in detail. I set up a framework in which a version of anti-realism explains a type of modal reliability that appears to be epistemologically promising, and plausibly explains the appearance of an epistemological (...)
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  40. Against Conservatism in Metaphysics.Maegan Fairchild & John Hawthorne - 2018 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 82:45-75.
    In his recent book, Daniel Korman contrasts ontological conservatives with permissivists and eliminativists about ontology. Roughly speaking, conservatives admit the existence of ‘ordinary objects' like trees, dogs, and snowballs, but deny the existence of ‘extraordinary objects', like composites of trees and dogs. Eliminativists, on the other hand, deny many or all ordinary objects, while permissivists accept both ordinary and extraordinary objects. Our aim in this paper is to outline some of our reasons for being drawn to permissivism, as well as (...)
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  41. The Deflationary Theory of Ontological Dependence.David Mark Kovacs - 2018 - Philosophical Quarterly 68 (272):481-502.
    When an entity ontologically depends on another entity, the former ‘presupposes’ or ‘requires’ the latter in some metaphysical sense. This paper defends a novel view, Dependence Deflationism, according to which ontological dependence is what I call an aggregative cluster concept: a concept which can be understood, but not fully analysed, as a ‘weighted total’ of constructive and modal relations. The view has several benefits: it accounts for clear cases of ontological dependence as well as the source of disagreement in controversial (...)
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  42. The Reality of Field’s Epistemological Challenge to Platonism.David Liggins - 2018 - Erkenntnis 83 (5):1027-1031.
    In the introduction to his Realism, mathematics and modality, and in earlier papers included in that collection, Hartry Field offered an epistemological challenge to platonism in the philosophy of mathematics. Justin Clarke-Doane Truth, objects, infinity: New perspectives on the philosophy of Paul Benacerraf, 2016) argues that Field’s challenge is an illusion: it does not pose a genuine problem for platonism. My aim is to show that Clarke-Doane’s argument relies on a misunderstanding of Field’s challenge.
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  43. An Error in Temporal Error Theory.Jonathan Tallant - 2018 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 4 (1):14-32.
    Within the philosophy of time there has been a growing interest in positions that deny the reality of time. Those positions, whether motivated by arguments from physics or metaphysics, have a shared conclusion: time is not real. What has not been made wholly clear, however, is exactly what it entails to deny the reality of time. Time is unreal, sure. But what does that mean? There has been only one sustained attempt to spell out exactly what it would mean to (...)
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  44. How Can We Come to Know Metaphysical Modal Truths?Amie L. Thomasson - 2018 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 8):2077-2106.
    Those who aim to give an account of modal knowledge face two challenges: the integration challenge of reconciling an account of what is involved in knowing modal truths with a plausible story about how we can come to know them, and the reliability challenge of giving a plausible account of how we could have evolved a reliable capacity to acquire modal knowledge. I argue that recent counterfactual and dispositional accounts of modal knowledge cannot solve these problems regarding specifically metaphysical modal (...)
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  45. The Epistemological Objection to Modal Primitivism.Jennifer Wang - 2018 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 8):1887-1898.
    Modal primitivists hold that some modal truths are primitively true. They thus seem to face a special epistemological problem: how can primitive modal truths be known? The epistemological objection has not been adequately developed in the literature. I undertake to develop the objection, and then to argue that the best formulation of the epistemological objection targets all realists about modality, rather than the primitivist alone. Furthermore, the moves available to reductionists in response to the objection are also available to primitivists. (...)
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  46. Feel the Flow.Sam Baron - 2017 - Synthese 194 (2):609-630.
    The experience of temporal flow is, for many, the central—if not the only—reason for believing an A-theory of time. Recently, however, B-theorists have argued that experience does not, in fact, favor the A-theory. Call such an argument: a debunking argument. The goal of the present paper is to defend the A-theory against two prominent versions of the debunking argument.
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  47. Normative Judgments and Individual Essence.Julian De Freitas, Kevin P. Tobia, George E. Newman & Joshua Knobe - 2017 - Cognitive Science 41 (S3).
    A growing body of research has examined how people judge the persistence of identity over time—that is, how they decide that a particular individual is the same entity from one time to the next. While a great deal of progress has been made in understanding the types of features that people typically consider when making such judgments, to date, existing work has not explored how these judgments may be shaped by normative considerations. The present studies demonstrate that normative beliefs do (...)
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  48. Access Problems and Explanatory Overkill.Silvia Jonas - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (11):2731-2742.
    I argue that recent attempts to deflect Access Problems for realism about a priori domains such as mathematics, logic, morality, and modality using arguments from evolution result in two kinds of explanatory overkill: the Access Problem is eliminated for contentious domains, and realist belief becomes viciously immune to arguments from dispensability, and to non-rebutting counter-arguments more generally.
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  49. What Do the Folk Think About Composition and Does It Matter?Daniel Z. Korman & Chad Carmichael - 2017 - In David Rose (ed.), Experimental Metaphysics. London: Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 187-206.
    Rose and Schaffer (forthcoming) argue that teleological thinking has a substantial influence on folk intuitions about composition. They take this to show (i) that we should not rely on folk intuitions about composition and (ii) that we therefore should not reject theories of composition on the basis of intuitions about composition. We cast doubt on the teleological interpretation of folk judgments about composition; we show how their debunking argument can be resisted, even on the assumption that folk intuitions have a (...)
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  50. Grounding: It’s (Probably) All in the Head.Kristie Miller & James Norton - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (12):3059-3081.
    In this paper we provide a psychological explanation for ‘grounding observations’—observations that are thought to provide evidence that there exists a relation of ground. Our explanation does not appeal to the presence of any such relation. Instead, it appeals to certain evolved cognitive mechanisms, along with the traditional modal relations of supervenience, necessitation and entailment. We then consider what, if any, metaphysical conclusions we can draw from the obtaining of such an explanation, and, in particular, if it tells us anything (...)
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