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D. M. Armstrong (1989). A Combinatorial Theory of Possibility.

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  1.  39
    How to Unify.Nicholas K. Jones - 2018 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 5.
    This paper evaluates the argument for the contradictoriness of unity, that be- gins Priest’s recent book One. The argument is seen to fail because it does not adequately differentiate between different forms of unity. This diagnosis of the argument’s failure is used as a basis for two consistent accounts of unity. The paper concludes by arguing that reality contains two absolutely fundamental and unanalysable forms of unity, which are in principle presupposed by any theory of anything. These fundamental forms of (...)
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  2. Perceiving Necessity.Catherine Legg & James Franklin - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (3).
    In many diagrams one seems to perceive necessity – one sees not only that something is so, but that it must be so. That conflicts with a certain empiricism largely taken for granted in contemporary philosophy, which believes perception is not capable of such feats. The reason for this belief is often thought well-summarized in Hume's maxim: ‘there are no necessary connections between distinct existences’. It is also thought that even if there were such necessities, perception is too passive or (...)
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  3.  47
    Platonism, Alienation, and Negativity.David Ingram - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (6):1273-1285.
    A platonic theory of possibility states that truths about what’s possible are determined by facts about properties not being instantiated. Recently, Matthew Tugby has argued in favour of this sort of theory, arguing that adopting a platonic theory of possibility allows us to solve a paradox concerning alien properties: properties that might have been instantiated, but aren’t actually. In this paper, I raise a worry for Tugby’s proposal—that it commits us to negative facts playing an important truth-making role—and offer a (...)
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  4. Worlds Enough for Junk.David Sanson - 2016 - Res Philosophica 93 (1):1-18.
    The possibility of Junk is the possibility that something exists and everything is a proper part. Just as we might imagine that there are no simples—that everything has a proper part, all the way down—we might imagine that there are no caps—that everything is a proper part, all the way up. It is not obvious that this apparent possibility can be accommodated within a Lewisian modal framework. For Lewis, every possibility involves the existence of a possible world, and a possible (...)
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  5.  44
    Quid Quidditism Est?Deborah Smith - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (2):237-257.
    Over the last decade or so, there has been a renewed interest in a view about properties known as quidditism. However, a review of the literature reveals that ‘quidditism’ is used to cover a range of distinct views. In this paper I explore the logical space of distinct types of quidditism. The first distinction noted is between quidditism as a thesis explicitly about property individuation and quidditism as a principle of unrestricted property recombination. The distinction recently drawn by Dustin Locke (...)
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  6.  73
    Universals, Laws, and Governance.Matthew Tugby - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (5):1147-1163.
    Proponents of the dispositional theory of properties typically claim that their view is not one that offers a realist, governing conception of laws. My first aim is to show that, contrary to this claim, if one commits to dispositionalism then one does not automatically give up on a robust, realist theory of laws. This is because dispositionalism can readily be developed within a Platonic framework of universals. Second, I argue that there are good reasons for realist dispositionalists to favour a (...)
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  7.  95
    Yes: Bare Particulars!Niall Connolly - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (5):1355-1370.
    What is the Bare Particular Theory? Is it committed, like the Bundle Theory, to a constituent ontology: according to which a substance’s qualities—and according to the Bare Particular Theory, its substratum also—are proper parts of the substance? I argue that Bare Particularists need not, should not, and—if a recent objection to ‘the Bare Particular Theory’ succeeds—cannot endorse a constituent ontology. There is nothing, I show, in the motivations for Bare Particularism or the principles that distinguish Bare Particularism from rival views (...)
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  8. The Location of Properties.Nikk Effingham - 2015 - Noûs 49 (4):846-866.
    This paper argues that, assuming properties exist and must be located in spacetime, the prevailing view that they are exactly located where their instances are is false. Instead a property is singularly located at just one region, namely the union of its instance's locations. This bears not just on issues in the metaphysics of properties, but also on the debate over whether multi-location is conceivable and/or possible.
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  9.  83
    A Topological Theory of Fundamental Concrete Particulars.Daniel Giberman - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (10):2679-2704.
    Fundamental concrete particulars are needed to explain facts about non-fundamental concrete particulars. However, the former can only play this explanatory role if they are properly discernible from the latter. Extant theories of how to discern fundamental concreta primarily concern mereological structure. Those according to which fundamental concreta can bear, but not be, proper parts are motivated by the possibilities that all concreta bear proper parts and that some properties of wholes are not fixed by the properties of their proper parts. (...)
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  10. Against Truth.Jamin Asay - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (1):147-164.
    I argue that there is no metaphysically substantive property of truth. Although many take this thesis to be central to deflationism about truth, it is sometimes left unclear what a metaphysically substantive property of truth is supposed to be. I offer a precise account by relying on the distinction between the property and concept of truth. Metaphysical substantivism is the view that the property of truth is a sparse property, regardless of how one understands the nature of sparse properties. I (...)
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  11.  83
    Existentialism Entails Anti-Haecceitism.Kenneth Boyce - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 168 (2):297-326.
    Existentialism concerning singular propositions is the thesis that singular propositions ontologically depend on the individuals they are directly about in such a way that necessarily, those propositions exist only if the individuals they are directly about exist. Haecceitism is the thesis that what non-qualitative facts there are fails to supervene on what purely qualitative facts there are. I argue that existentialism concerning singular propositions entails the denial of haecceitism and that this entailment has interesting implications for debates concerning the philosophy (...)
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  12. Antirealism and the Conditional Fallacy: The Semantic Approach.Patrick Girard & Luca Moretti - 2014 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 43 (4):761-783.
    The expression conditional fallacy identifies a family of arguments deemed to entail odd and false consequences for notions defined in terms of counterfactuals. The antirealist notion of truth is typically defined in terms of what a rational enquirer or a community of rational enquirers would believe if they were suitably informed. This notion is deemed to entail, via the conditional fallacy, odd and false propositions, for example that there necessarily exists a rational enquirer. If these consequences do indeed follow from (...)
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  13.  94
    Constructing Formal Semantics From an Ontological Perspective. The Case of Second-Order Logics.Thibaut Giraud - 2014 - Synthese 191 (10):2115-2145.
    In a first part, I defend that formal semantics can be used as a guide to ontological commitment. Thus, if one endorses an ontological view \(O\) and wants to interpret a formal language \(L\) , a thorough understanding of the relation between semantics and ontology will help us to construct a semantics for \(L\) in such a way that its ontological commitment will be in perfect accordance with \(O\) . Basically, that is what I call constructing formal semantics from an (...)
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  14.  48
    Dispositional Modal Truthmakers and the Necessary Origin.Chad Vance - 2014 - Philosophia 42 (4):1111-1127.
    Several philosophers have recently suggested that truths about unactualized metaphysical possibilities are true in virtue of the existence of actual objects and their dispositional properties. For example, on this view, it is true that unicorns are metaphysically possible only if some actual object has (or had) the disposition to bring it about that there are unicorns. This view, a dispositionalist version of what has recently been dubbed “The New Actualism,” is a proposal about the nature of modal truthmakers. But, I (...)
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  15. Viciousness and the Structure of Reality.Ricki Bliss - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 166 (2):399-418.
    Given the centrality of arguments from vicious infinite regress to our philosophical reasoning, it is little wonder that they should also appear on the catalogue of arguments offered in defense of theses that pertain to the fundamental structure of reality. In particular, the metaphysical foundationalist will argue that, on pain of vicious infinite regress, there must be something fundamental. But why think that infinite regresses of grounds are vicious? I explore existing proposed accounts of viciousness cast in terms of contradictions, (...)
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  16. Defending David Lewis's Modal Reduction.Barry Maguire - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 166 (1):129-147.
    David Lewis claims that his theory of modality successfully reduces modal items to nonmodal items. This essay will clarify this claim and argue that it is true. This is largely an exercise within ‘Ludovician Polycosmology’: I hope to show that a certain intuitive resistance to the reduction and a set of related objections misunderstand the nature of the Ludovician project. But these results are of broad interest since they show that would-be reductionists have more formidable argumentative resources than is often (...)
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  17. Non-Reductive Physicalism and the Mind Problem 1.Susan Schneider - 2013 - Noûs 47 (1):135-153.
    Most answers to the mind-body problem are claims about the nature of mental properties and substances. But advocates of non-reductive physicalism have generally neglected the topic of the nature of substance, quickly nodding to the view that all substances are physical, while focusing their intellectual energy on understanding how mental properties relate to physical ones. Let us call the view that all substances are physical or are exhaustively composed of physical substances substance physicalism (SP). Herein, I argue that non-reductive physicalism (...)
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  18.  99
    Nomological Resemblance.Robin Stenwall - 2013 - Metaphysica 14 (1):31-46.
    Laws of nature concern the natural properties of things. Newton’s law of gravity states that the gravitational force between objects is proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of their distance; Coulomb’s law states a similar functional dependency between charged particles. Each of these properties confers a power to act as specified by the function of the laws. Consequently, properties of the same quantity confer resembling powers. Any theory that takes powers seriously must account (...)
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  19. Objects, Discreteness, and Pure Power Theories: George Molnar’s Critique of Sydney Shoemaker’s Causal Theory of Properties. [REVIEW]Sharon Ford - 2012 - Metaphysica 13 (2):195-215.
    Sydney Shoemaker’s causal theory of properties is an important starting place for some contemporary metaphysical perspectives concerning the nature of properties. In this paper, I discuss the causal and intrinsic criteria that Shoemaker stipulates for the identity of genuine properties and relations, and address George Molnar’s criticism that holding both criteria presents an unbridgeable hypothesis in the causal theory of properties. The causal criterion requires that properties and relations contribute to the causal powers of objects if they are to be (...)
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  20. Against Zero-Dimensional Material Objects (and Other Bare Particulars).Daniel Giberman - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 160 (2):305-321.
    A modus tollens against zero-dimensional material objects is presented from the premises (i) that if there are zero-dimensional material objects then there are bare particulars, and (ii) that there are no bare particulars. The argument for the first premise proceeds by elimination. First, bare particular theory and bundle theory are motivated as the most appealing theories of property exemplification. It is then argued that the bundle theorist’s Ockhamism ought to lead her to reject spatiotemporally located zero-dimensional property instances. Finally, it (...)
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  21. Metaphysical Nihilism and Cosmological Arguments: Some Tractarian Comments.Stig Børsen Hansen - 2012 - European Journal of Philosophy 20 (2):223-242.
    Abstract: This paper explores the relevance of themes from Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus to the ongoing discussion of metaphysical nihilism. I set out by showing how metaphysical nihilism is of paramount importance for cosmological arguments. Metaphysical nihilism is the position that there might have been nothing. Two conflicting intuitions emerge from a survey of discussions of metaphysical nihilism: Firstly, that metaphysical nihilism is true, and secondly, that formulations of the position are somehow unclear or nonsensical. By considering formalizations of philosophical language, (...)
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  22. Quidditism Without Quiddities.Dustin Locke - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 160 (3):345-363.
    Structuralism and quidditism are competing views of the metaphysics of property individuation: structuralists claim that properties are individuated by their nomological roles; quidditists claim that they are individuated by something else. This paper (1) refutes what many see as the best reason to accept structuralism over quidditism and (2) offers a methodological argument in favor of a quidditism. The standard charge against quidditism is that it commits us to something ontologically otiose: intrinsic aspects of properties, so-called ‘quiddities’. Here I grant (...)
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  23.  70
    Non-Reductive Physicalism Cannot Appeal to Token Identity.Susan Schneider - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 85 (3):719-728.
  24. Why Property Dualists Must Reject Substance Physicalism.Susan Schneider - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 157 (1):61-76.
    I argue that property dualists cannot hold that minds are physical substances. The focus of my discussion is a property dualism that takes qualia to be sui generis features of reality.
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  25. What Could Be Caused Must Actually Be Caused.Christopher Gregory Weaver - 2012 - Synthese 184 (3):299-317.
    I give two arguments for the claim that all events which occur at the actual world and are such that they could be caused, are also such that they must actually be caused. The first argument is an improvement of a similar argument advanced by Alexander Pruss, which I show to be invalid. It uses Pruss’s Brouwer Analog for counterfactual logic, and, as a consequence, implies inconsistency with Lewis’s semantics for counterfactuals. While (I suggest) this consequence may not be objectionable, (...)
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  26. Harm to Future Persons: Non-Identity Problems and Counterpart Solutions.Anthony Wrigley - 2012 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 15 (2):175-190.
    Non-Identity arguments have a pervasive but sometimes counter-intuitive grip on certain key areas in ethics. As a result, there has been limited success in supporting the alternative view that our choices concerning future generations can be considered harmful on any sort of person-affecting principle. However, as the Non-Identity Problem relies overtly on certain metaphysical assumptions, plausible alternatives to these foundations can substantially undermine the Non-Identity argument itself. In this paper, I show how the pervasive force and nature of Non-Identity arguments (...)
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  27. Presentism and Truthmaking.Ben Caplan & David Sanson - 2011 - Philosophy Compass 6 (3):196-208.
    Three plausible views—Presentism, Truthmaking, and Independence—form an inconsistent triad. By Presentism, all being is present being. By Truthmaking, all truth supervenes on, and is explained in terms of, being. By Independence, some past truths do not supervene on, or are not explained in terms of, present being. We survey and assess some responses to this.
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  28.  57
    Rule Consequentialism Makes Sense After All.Tyler Cowen - 2011 - Social Philosophy and Policy 28 (2):212-231.
    It is commonly claimed that rule consequentialism collapses into act consequentialism, because sometimes there are benefits from breaking the rules. I suggest this argument is less powerful than has been believed. The argument requires a commitment to a very particular account of feasibility and constraints. It requires the presupposition that thinking of rules as the relevant constraint is incorrect. Supposedly we should look at a smaller unit of choice—the single act—as the relevant choice variable. But once we see feasibility as (...)
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  29.  31
    Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus and Religion.Stig Børsen Hansen - 2011 - Philosophy Compass 6 (2):142-151.
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  30. Setting the Facts Straight.Mark Jago - 2011 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 40 (1):33-54.
    Substantial facts are not well-understood entities. Many philosophers object to their existence on this basis. Yet facts, if they can be understood, promise to do a lot of philosophical work: they can be used to construct theories of property possession and truthmaking, for example. Here, I give a formal theory of facts, including negative and logically complex facts. I provide a theory of reduction similar to that of the typed λ -calculus and use it to provide identity conditions for facts. (...)
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  31. Is There A Quasi-Mereological Account of Property Incompatibility?Javier Kalhat - 2011 - Acta Analytica 26 (2):115-133.
    Armstrong’s combinatorial theory of possibility faces the obvious difficulty that not all universals are compatible. In this paper I develop three objections against Armstrong’s attempt to account for property incompatibilities. First, Armstrong’s account cannot handle incompatibilities holding among properties that are either simple, or that are complex but stand to one another in the relation of overlap rather than in the part/ whole relation. Secondly, at the heart of Armstrong’s account lies a notion of structural universals which, building on an (...)
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  32. Fictionalism in Metaphysics.Frederick Kroon - 2011 - Philosophy Compass 6 (11):786-803.
    This is a survey of contemporary work on ‘fictionalism in metaphysics’, a term that is taken to signify both the place of fictionalism as a distinctive anti‐realist metaphysics in which usefulness rather than truth is the norm of acceptance, and the fact that philosophers have given fictionalist treatments of a range of specifically metaphysical notions.
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  33.  60
    Is Modal Fictionalism Artificial?Richard Woodward - 2011 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 92 (4):535-550.
    This article examines a popular complaint against the fictionalist account of possible objects bruited by Gideon Rosen. This is the complaint that modal fictionalism is, in some sense or other, hopelessly artificial. I shall separate two different strands to this worry and examine each in turn. As we shall see, neither strand to the objection is intractable.
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  34. The Way Things Were.Ben Caplan & David Sanson - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (1):24-39.
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  35. Natural Kinds and the Problem of Complex Essences.Travis Dumsday - 2010 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (4):619-634.
    Natural-kind essentialism faces an important but neglected difficulty: the problem of complex essences (PCE). This is the question of how to account for the unity of an instantiated kind-essence when that essence consists of multiple distinct properties, some of which lack an inherent necessary connection between them. My central goal here is to propose an essentialism-friendly solution to this problem. Along the way I also employ some points from that solution to argue for the necessary truth of essentialism (necessary, that (...)
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  36. Humility and Constraints on O-Language.Stephan Leuenberger - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 149 (3):327-354.
    In "Ramseyan Humility," David Lewis argues that we cannot know what the fundamental properties in our world are. His arguments invoke the possibility of permutations and replacements of fundamental properties. Most responses focus on Lewis’s view on the relationship between properties and roles, and on the assumptions about knowledge that he makes. I argue that no matter how the debates about knowledge and about the metaphysics of properties turn out, Lewis’s arguments are unconvincing since they rely on a highly implausible (...)
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  37. Facts and Truth-Making.Michael Pendlebury - 2010 - Topoi 29 (2):137-145.
    This essay is a reflection on the idea of truth-making and its applications. I respond to a critique of my 1986 paper on truth-making and discuss some key principles at play in the Truth-maker Program as it has emerged over the past 25 years, paying special attention to negative and general truths. I maintain my opposition to negative and general facts, but give an improved account of how to do without them. In the end, I accept Truth-maker Maximalism and a (...)
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  38. What is Hume's Dictum, and Why Believe It?Jessica M. Wilson - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 80 (3):595 - 637.
    Hume's Dictum (HD) says, roughly and typically, that there are no metaphysically necessary connections between distinct, intrinsically typed, entities. HD plays an influential role in metaphysical debate, both in constructing theories and in assessing them. One should ask of such an influential thesis: why believe it? Proponents do not accept Hume's arguments for his dictum, nor do they provide their own; however, some have suggested either that HD is analytic or that it is synthetic a priori (that is: motivated by (...)
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  39.  8
    What is Hume’s Dictum, and Why Believe It?Jessica M. Wilson - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 80 (3):595-637.
  40. Logical Pluralism is Compatible with Monism About Metaphysical Modality.Nicola Ciprotti & Luca Moretti - 2009 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (2):275-284.
    Beall and Restall 2000; 2001; 2006 advocate a comprehensive pluralist approach to logic, which they call Logical Pluralism, according to which there is not one true logic but many equally acceptable logical systems. They maintain that Logical Pluralism is compatible with monism about metaphysical modality, according to which there is just one correct logic of metaphysical modality. Wyatt 2004 contends that Logical Pluralism is incompatible with monism about metaphysical modality. We first suggest that if Wyatt were right, Logical Pluralism would (...)
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  41.  93
    Naturalism, Science and the Supernatural.Steve Clarke - 2009 - Sophia 48 (2):127-142.
    There is overwhelming agreement amongst naturalists that a naturalistic ontology should not allow for the possibility of supernatural entities. I argue, against this prevailing consensus, that naturalists have no proper basis to oppose the existence of supernatural entities. Naturalism is characterized, following Leiter and Rea, as a position which involves a primary commitment to scientific methodology and it is argued that any naturalistic ontological commitments must be compatible with this primary commitment. It is further argued that properly applied scientific method (...)
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  42.  77
    General Information in Relevant Logic.Edwin Mares - 2009 - Synthese 167 (2):343-362.
    This paper sets out a philosophical interpretation of the model theory of Mares and Goldblatt (The Journal of Symbolic Logic 71, 2006). This interpretation distinguishes between truth conditions and information conditions. Whereas the usual Tarskian truth condition holds for universally quantified statements, their information condition is quite different. The information condition utilizes general propositions . The present paper gives a philosophical explanation of general propositions and argues that these are needed to give an adequate theory of general information.
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  43. Structure-Making.Kris McDaniel - 2009 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (2):251-274.
    Friends of states of affairs and structural universals appeal to a relation, structure-making, that is allegedly a kind of composition relation: structure-making ?builds? facts out of particulars and universals, and ?builds? structural universals out of unstructured universals. D. M. Armstrong, an eminent champion of structures, endorses two interesting theses concerning composition. First, that structure-making is a composition relation. Second, that it is not the only (fundamental) composition relation: Armstrong also believes in a mode of composition that he calls mereological, and (...)
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  44. A Dispositional Theory of Possibility.Andrea Borghini & Neil E. Williams - 2008 - Dialectica 62 (1):21–41.
    – The paper defends a naturalistic version of modal actualism according to which what is metaphysically possible is determined by dispositions found in the actual world. We argue that there is just one world—this one—and that all genuine possibilities are anchored by the dispositions exemplified in this world. This is the case regardless of whether or not those dispositions are manifested. As long as the possibility is one that would obtain were the relevant disposition manifested, it is a genuine possibility. (...)
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  45.  73
    Generating Possibilities.David Denby - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 141 (2):191-207.
    Our knowledge of the most basic alternative possibilities can be thought of as generated recursively from what we know about the actual world. But what are the generating principles? According to one view, they are recombinational: roughly, alternative possibilities are generated by “patching together” parts of distinct worlds or “blotting out” parts of worlds to yield new worlds. I argue that this view is inadequate. It is difficult to state in a way that is true and non-trivial, and anyway fails (...)
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  46. What is the Principle of Recombination?David Efird & Tom Stoneham - 2008 - Dialectica 62 (4):483-494.
    In this paper, we give a precise characterization of the principle of recombination and argue that it need not be subject to any restrictions.
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  47.  97
    A Critique of Armstrong’s Truthmaking Account of Possibility.Javier Kalhat - 2008 - Acta Analytica 23 (2):161-176.
    In this paper I argue against Armstrong’s recent truthmaking account of possibility. I show that the truthmaking account presupposes modality in a number of different ways, and consequently that it is incapable of underwriting a genuine reduction of modality. I also argue that Armstrong’s account faces serious difficulties irrespective of the question of reduction; in particular, I argue that his Entailment and Possibility Principles are both false.
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  48. Brogaard and Salerno on Antirealism and the Conditional Fallacy.Luca Moretti - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 140 (2):229 - 246.
    Brogaard and Salerno (2005, Nous, 39, 123–139) have argued that antirealism resting on a counterfactual analysis of truth is flawed because it commits a conditional fallacy by entailing the absurdity that there is necessarily an epistemic agent. Brogaard and Salerno's argument relies on a formal proof built upon the criticism of two parallel proofs given by Plantinga (1982, "Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association", 56, 47–70) and Rea (2000, "Nous," 34, 291–301). If this argument were conclusive, antirealism resting (...)
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  49. Weak and Global Supervenience Are Strong.Mark Moyer - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 138 (1):125 - 150.
    Kim argues that weak and global supervenience are too weak to guarantee any sort of dependency. Of the three original forms of supervenience, strong, weak, and global, each commonly wielded across all branches of philosophy, two are thus cast aside as uninteresting or useless. His arguments, however, fail to appreciate the strength of weak and global supervenience. I investigate what weak and global supervenience relations are functionally and how they relate to strong supervenience. For a large class of properties, weak (...)
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  50.  60
    Motivating Reductionism About Sets.Alexander Paseau - 2008 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 86 (2):295 – 307.
    The paper raises some difficulties for the typical motivations behind set reductionism, the view that sets are reducible to entities identified independently of set theory.
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