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A World of States of Affairs

Mind 107 (427):669-672 (1997)

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  1. Troubles with Theoretical Virtues: Resisting Theoretical Utility Arguments in Metaphysics.OtÁvio Bueno & Scott A. Shalkowski - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
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  • Why Truthmaking Is Not a Case of Grounding.Paul Audi - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
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  • Against Grounding Necessitarianism.Alexander Skiles - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (4):717-751.
    Can there be grounding without necessitation? Can a fact obtain wholly in virtue of metaphysically more fundamental facts, even though there are possible worlds at which the latter facts obtain but not the former? It is an orthodoxy in recent literature about the nature of grounding, and in first-order philosophical disputes about what grounds what, that the answer is no. I will argue that the correct answer is yes. I present two novel arguments against grounding necessitarianism, and show that grounding (...)
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  • Intrinsic Dispositional Properties and Immanent Realism.Vassilis Livanios - 2018 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 95 (4):500-519.
    _ Source: _Page Count 20 Tugby and Yates have recently argued that immanent realism is incompatible with the existence of intrinsic but relationally constituted genuine dispositional properties. The success of Tugby’s and Yates’ arguments depends either on a strong or on a weak assumption about the interworld identity of dispositional properties. In this paper, the author evaluates the strength of the arguments in question under those two assumptions. He also offers an alternative metaphysical picture for the fundamental dispositional properties which (...)
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  • A Return to the Analogy of Being.Kris McDaniel - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (3):688 - 717.
    Recently, I’ve championed the doctrine that fundamentally different sorts of things exist in fundamentally different ways.1 On this view, what it is for an entity to be can differ across ontological categories.2 Although historically this doctrine was very popular, and several important challenges to this doctrine have been dealt with, I suspect that contemporary metaphysicians will continue to treat this view with suspicion until it is made clearer when one is warranted in positing different modes of existence.3 I address this (...)
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  • A Theory of Presentism.Craig Bourne - 2006 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 36 (1):1-23.
    There are at least three conditions that would ideally be met in a satisfactory solution to this problem.
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  • What the Deflationist May Say About Truthmaking.Matthew McGrath - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66 (3):666–688.
    The correspondence theory of truth is often thought to be supported by the intuition that if a proposition (sentence, belief) is true, then something makes it true. I argue that this appearance is illusory and is sustained only by a conflation of two distinct notions of truthmaking, existential and non-existential. Once the conflation is exposed, I maintain, deflationism is seen to be adequate for accommodating truthmaking intuitions.
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  • Relations and Truthmaking.Fraser MacBride - 2011 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 111 (1pt1):161-179.
    Can Bradley's Regress be solved by positing relational tropes as truth-makers? No, no more than Russell's paradox can be solved by positing Fregean extensions. To call a trope relational is to pack into its essence the relating function it is supposed to perform but without explaining what Bradley's Regress calls into question, viz. the capacity of relations to relate. This problem has been masked from view by the (questionable) assumption that the only genuine ontological problems that can be intelligibly raised (...)
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  • The Logic of the Trinity.Einar Duenger Bohn - 2011 - Sophia 50 (3):363-374.
    Roughly, the problem of the Trinity is the problem of how God can be one and yet be the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, which are three, not one. That one thing is identical with three distinct things seems to violate traditional laws of identity. I propose a solution to this problem according to which it is just an ordinary claim of one-many identity. For example, one pair of shoes is identical with two shoes; and my one body (...)
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  • Three Comments on Writing the Book of the World.Trenton Merricks - 2013 - Analysis 73 (4):722-736.
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  • Truth, Correspondence and Deflationism.James O. Young - 2009 - Frontiers of Philosophy in China 4 (4):563-575.
    The central claim of this essay is that many deflationary theories of truth are variants of the correspondence theory of truth. Essential to the correspondence theory of truth is the proposal that objective features of the world are the truthmakers of statements. Many advocates of deflationary theories (including F. P. Ramsay, P. F. Strawson and Paul Horwich) remain committed to this proposal. Although T-sentences (statements of the form “ s is true iff p ”) are presented by advocates of deflationary (...)
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  • Armstrong on Truthmaking and Realism.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2016 - In Francesco F. Calemi (ed.), Metaphysics and Scientific Realism: Essays in Honour of David Malet Armstrong. De Gruyter. pp. 207-218.
    The title of this paper reflects the fact truthmaking is quite frequently considered to be expressive of realism. What this means, exactly, will become clearer in the course of our discussion, but since we are interested in Armstrong’s work on truthmaking in particular, it is natural to start from a brief discussion of how truthmaking and realism appear to be associated in his work. In this paper, special attention is given to the supposed link between truthmaking and realism, but it (...)
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  • Yet Another New Cosmological Argument.Christopher Gregory Weaver - 2016 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 80 (1):11-31.
    I argue that the existence of a necessary concrete being can be derived from an exceedingly weak causal principle coupled with two contingent truths one of which falls out of very popular positions in contemporary analytic metaphysics. I then show that the argument resists a great many objections commonly lodged against natural theological arguments of the cosmological variety.
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  • Objects, Discreteness, and Pure Power Theories: George Molnar’s Critique of Sydney Shoemaker’s Causal Theory of Properties. [REVIEW]Sharon R. 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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  • Beliefs Do Not Come in Degrees.Andrew Moon - 2017 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (6):760-778.
    Philosophers commonly say that beliefs come in degrees. Drawing from the literature, I make precise three arguments for this claim: an argument from degrees of confidence, an argument from degrees of firmness, and an argument from natural language. I show that they all fail. I also advance three arguments that beliefs do not come in degrees: an argument from natural language, an argument from intuition, and an argument from the metaphysics of degrees. On the basis of these arguments, I conclude (...)
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  • Whatever Binds the World’s Innermost Core Together Outline of a General Theory of Ontic Predication.Luc Schneider - 2013 - Axiomathes 23 (2):419-442.
    Nexuses such as exemplification are the fundamental ties that structure reality as a whole. They are “formal” in the sense of constituting the form, not the matter of reality and they are “transcendental” inasmuch as they transcend the categorial distinctions between the denizens of reality, including that between existents and non-existents. I shall advocate a moderately particularist view about (external) nexuses and argue that it provides not only the best solution to Bradley’s regress, but also an elegant account of symmetrical (...)
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  • Bradley’s Regress: Relations, Exemplification, Unity.Guido Bonino - 2013 - Axiomathes 23 (2):189-200.
    Different interpretations of Bradley’s regress argument are considered. On the basis of textual evidences, it is argued that the most persuasive is the one that sees the argument as primarily addressing the general issue of unity or connectedness.
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  • Two Types of Mental Causation.Wim de Muijnck - 2004 - Philosophical Explorations 7 (1):21-35.
    In this paper I distinguish two types of mental causation, called 'higher-level causation' and 'exploitation'. These notions superficially resemble the traditional problematic notions of supervenient causation and downward causation, but they are different in crucial respects. My new distinction is supported by a radically externalist competitor of the so-called Standard View of mental states, i.e. the view that mental states are brain states. I argue that on the Alternative View, the notions of 'higher-level causation' and 'exploitation' can in combination dissolve (...)
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  • The Dretske–Tooley–Armstrong Theory of Natural Laws and the Inference Problem.Joan Page`S. - 2002 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 16 (3):227-243.
    In this article I intend to show that the inference problem, one of the main objections raised against the anti-Humean theory of natural laws defended by Dretske, Tooley and Armstrong (?DTA theory? for short), can be successfully answered. First, I argue that a proper solution should meet two essential requirements that the proposals made by the DTA theorists do not satisfy. Then I state a solution to the inference problem that assumes a local immanentistic view of universals, a partial definition (...)
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  • The Four Faces of Omission: Ontology, Terminology, Epistemology, and Ethics.Giovanni Boniolo & Gabriele De Anna - 2006 - Philosophical Explorations 9 (3):277 – 293.
    In this paper, the ontological, terminological, epistemological, and ethical aspects of omission are considered in a coherent and balanced framework, based on the idea that there are omissions which are actions and omissions which are non-actions. In particular, we suggest that the approach to causation which best deals with omission is Mackie's INUS conditional proposal. We argue that omissions are determined partly by the ontological conditional structure of reality, and partly by the interests, beliefs, and values of observers. The final (...)
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  • The Series, the Network, and the Tree: Changing Metaphors of Order in Nature.Olivier Rieppel - 2010 - Biology and Philosophy 25 (4):475-496.
    The history of biological systematics documents a continuing tension between classifications in terms of nested hierarchies congruent with branching diagrams (the ‘Tree of Life’) versus reticulated relations. The recognition of conflicting character distribution led to the dissolution of the scala naturae into reticulated systems, which were then transformed into phylogenetic trees by the addition of a vertical axis. The cladistic revolution in systematics resulted in a representation of phylogeny as a strictly bifurcating pattern (cladogram). Due to the ubiquity of character (...)
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  • Quantum Mechanics and the Plight of Physicalism.Fernando Birman - 2009 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 40 (2):207-225.
    The literature on physicalism often fails to elucidate, I think, what the word physical in physical ism precisely means. Philosophers speak at times of an ideal set of fundamental physical facts, or they stipulate that physical means non-mental , such that all fundamental physical facts are fundamental facts pertaining to the non-mental. In this article, I will probe physicalism in the very much tangible framework of quantum mechanics. Although this theory, unlike “ideal physics” or some “final theory of non-mentality”, is (...)
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  • Do Zombies Hunger for Humean Brains?Neil E. Williams - 2007 - SWIF Philosophy of Mind Review 6 (2):62-72.
    John Heil’s From an Ontological Point of View (Heil 2003) is a tremendous philosophical work. The neo-Lockean ontology the reader finds within its 267 pages is a sensible and refreshing alternative to the neo-Humean ontologies which presently occupy the vast majority of the metaphysical literature. What Heil offers is a much needed change in perspective. Nor are the strengths of the book limited to Heil’s willingness to approach central metaphysical problems in largely untried and unpopular way; the book is very (...)
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  • Statues and Lumps: A Strange Coincidence?Mark Moyer - 2006 - Synthese 148 (2):401-423.
    Puzzles about persistence and change through time, i.e., about identity across time, have foundered on confusion about what it is for ‘two things’ to be have ‘the same thing’ at a time. This is most directly seen in the dispute over whether material objects can occupy exactly the same place at the same time. This paper defends the possibility of such coincidence against several arguments to the contrary. Distinguishing a temporally relative from an absolute sense of ‘the same’, we see (...)
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  • A Unified Theory of Truth and Reference.Barry Smith & Berit Brogaard - 2000 - Logique Et Analyse 43 (169-170):49–93.
    The truthmaker theory rests on the thesis that the link between a true judgment and that in the world to which it corresponds is not a one-to-one but rather a one-to-many relation. An analogous thesis in relation to the link between a singular term and that in the world to which it refers is already widely accepted. This is the thesis to the effect that singular reference is marked by vagueness of a sort that is best understood in supervaluationist terms. (...)
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  • Causes as Powers. [REVIEW]Jennifer McKitrick, Anna Marmodoro, Stephen Mumford & Rani Lill Anjum - 2013 - Metascience 22 (3):545-559.
  • No Physical Particles for a Dispositional Monist?Baptiste Le Bihan - 2015 - Philosophical Papers 44 (2):207-232.
    A dispositional monist believes that all properties are essentially causal. Recently, an overdetermination argument has been proposed by Trenton Merricks to support nihilism about ordinary objects. I argue that this argument can be extended to target both nihilism about ordinary objects and nihilism about physical particles when dispositional monism is assumed. It implies that a philosopher who both endorses dispositional monism and takes seriously the overdetermination argument should not believe in the existence of physical particles. I end up by discussing (...)
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  • The Necessity of Metaphysics.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2008 - Dissertation, Durham University
    The purpose of this thesis is to demonstrate that metaphysics is a necessary discipline -- necessary in the sense that all areas of philosophy, all areas of science, and in fact any type of rational activity at all would be impossible without a metaphysical background or metaphysical presuppositions. Because of the extremely strong nature of this claim, it is not possible to put forward a very simple argument, although I will attempt to construct one. A crucial issue here is what (...)
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  • Truthmaking: With and Without Counterpart Theory.Phillip Bricker - 2015 - In Barry Loewer & Jonathan Schaffer (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to David Lewis. Blackwell.
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  • Lawful Mimickers.Umut Baysan - 2017 - Analysis 77 (3):488-494.
    The nomic view of dispositions holds that properties confer dispositions on their bearers with nomological necessity. The argument against nomic dispositions challenges the nomic view: if the nomic view is true, then objects don't have dispositions, but 'mimic' them. This paper presents an explication of disposition conferral which shows that the nomic view is not vulnerable to this objection.
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  • Some Remarks on the Metaphysical Status of Laws of Nature.W. Christiaens - 2008 - Acta Philosophica Fennica 84:99.
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  • Heidegger's Logico-Semantic Strikeback.Alberto Voltolini - 2015 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 22:19-38.
    In (1959), Carnap famously attacked Heidegger for having constructed an insane metaphysics based on a misconception of both the logical form and the semantics of ordinary language. In what follows, it will be argued that, once one appropriately (i.e., in a Russellian fashion) reads Heidegger’s famous sentence that should paradigmatically exemplify such a misconception, i.e., “the nothing nothings”, there is nothing either logically or semantically wrong with it. The real controversy as to how that sentence has to be evaluated—not as (...)
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  • Instantiation as Partial Identity.José Tomás Alvarado Marambio - 2012 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 19 (4):459-487.
    This work presents and discusses the conception of instantiation as ‘partial identity’. The theory has been previously proposed in two different guises by Baxter and Armstrong . Attention will be paid mostly to Baxter’s presentation, which seems the best de veloped, and where instantiation is understood as identity of ‘aspects’ of a universal and a particular. The theory seems to offer a solution to the vexed question of Bradley’s Regress, because instantiation is no longer conceived as a relation between numerically (...)
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  • Introduction: What is Ontology For.Katherine Munn - 2008 - In Munn Katherine & Smith Barry (eds.), Applied Ontology: An Introduction. Walter de Gruyter. pp. 7-19.
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  • Bundle Theory with Kinds.Markku Keinänen & Tuomas E. Tahko - forthcoming - The Philosophical Quarterly.
    Is it possible to get by with just one ontological category? We evaluate L.A. Paul’s attempt to do so: the mereological bundle theory. The upshot is that Paul’s attempt to construct a one category ontology may be challenged with some of her own arguments. In the positive part of the paper we outline a two category ontology with property universals and kind universals. We will also examine Paul’s arguments against a version of universal bundle theory that takes spatiotemporal co-location instead (...)
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  • Truths and Processes: A Critical Approach to Truthmaker Theory.Gustavo Picazo - 2014 - Philosophia 42 (3):713-739.
    The starting point of this paper is the idea that linguistic representation is the result of a global process: a process of interaction of a community of cognitive-linguistic agents, with one another and with the environment. I maintain that the study of truth, meaning and related notions should be addressed without losing perspective of this process, and I oppose the ‘static’ or ‘analytic’ approach, which is fundamentally based on our own knowledge of the conventional meaning of words and sentences, and (...)
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  • Exemplification as Explanation.Anna-Sofia Maurin - 2013 - Axiomathes 23 (2):401-417.
    In this paper I critically investigate an unorthodox attempt to metaphysically explain in virtue of what there are states of affairs. This is a suggestion according to which states of affairs exist thanks to, rather than, as is the common view, in spite of, the infinite regress their metaphysical explanation seems to engender. I argue that, no matter in which form it is defended, or in which theoretical framework it is set, this suggestion cannot provide us with the explanation we (...)
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  • Building the World From its Fundamental Constituents.L. A. Paul - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 158 (2):221-256.
    In this paper, I argue that the spatiotemporalist approach way of modeling the fundamental constituents, structure, and composition of the world has taken a wrong turn. Spatiotemporalist approaches to fundamental structure take the fundamental nature of the world to be spatiotemporal: they take the category of spatiotemporal to be fundamental. I argue that the debates over the nature of the fundamental space in the physics show us that (i) the fact that it is conceivable that the manifest world could be (...)
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  • The Hard Road to Presentism.Jamin Asay & Sam Baron - 2014 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 95 (3):314-335.
    It is a common criticism of presentism – the view according to which only the present exists – that it errs against truthmaker theory. Recent attempts to resolve the truthmaker objection against presentism proceed by restricting truthmaker maximalism (the view that all truths have truthmakers), maintaining that propositions concerning the past are not made true by anything, but are true nonetheless. Support for this view is typically garnered from the case for negative existential propositions, which some philosophers contend are exceptions (...)
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  • Bivalence and the Challenge of Truth-Value Gaps.Teresa Marques - 2004 - Dissertation, Stirling
    This thesis is concerned with the challenge truth-value gaps pose to the principle of bivalence. The central question addressed is: are truth-value gaps counterexamples to bivalence and is the supposition of counterexamples coherent? My aim is to examine putative cases of truth-value gaps against an argument by Timothy Williamson, which shows that the supposition of counterexamples to bivalence is contradictory. The upshot of his argument is that either problematic utterances say nothing, or they cannot be neither true nor false. I (...)
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  • A New Challenge for Objective Uncertainties and The Propensity Theorist.Robin Stenwall, Johannes Persson & Nils-Eric Sahlin - 2018 - Metaphysica 19 (2):219-224.
    The paper is concerned with the existence of objective uncertainties. What would it take for objective uncertainties to exist, and what would be the consequences for our understanding of the world we live in? We approach these questions by considering two common theories on how we are to understand the being of propensities and how it pertains to possible outcomes that remain unmanifested. It is argued that both or these theories should be rejected, and be replaced with a theory we (...)
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  • Can Persistence Be a Matter of Convention?Tobias Hansson Wahlberg - 2011 - Axiomathes 21 (4):507-529.
    This paper asks whether persistence can be a matter of convention. It argues that in a rather unexciting de dicto sense persistence is indeed a matter of convention, but it rejects the notion that persistence can be a matter of convention in a more substantial de re sense. However, scenarios can be imagined that appear to involve conventional persistence of the latter kind. Since there are strong reasons for thinking that such conventionality is impossible, it is desirable that our metaphysical-cum-semantic (...)
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  • Composition as Identity: A Study in Ontology and Philosophical Logic.Einar Bohn - unknown
    In this work I first develop, motivate, and defend the view that mereological composition, the relation between an object and all its parts collectively, is a relation of identity. I argue that this view implies and hence can explain the logical necessity of classical mereology, the formal study of the part-whole relation. I then critically discuss four contemporary views of the same kind. Finally, I employ my thesis in a recent discussion of whether the world is fundamentally one in number.
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  • The Metaphysics of Grounding.Michael John Clark - unknown
    The phrase ‘in virtue of’ is a mainstay of metaphysical discourse. In recent years, many philosophers have argued that we should understand this phrase, as metaphysicians use it, in terms of a concept of metaphysical dependence called ‘grounding’.This dissertation explores a range of central issues in the theory of grounding. Chapter 1 introduces the intuitive concept of grounding and discusses some compulsory questions in the theory of grounding. Chapter 2 focusses on scepticism on grounding, according to which the recent philosophical (...)
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  • Causal Nominalism.Ann Whittle - 2009 - In Toby Handfield (ed.), Dispositions and Causes. Oxford University Press, Clarendon Press ;.
    The causal theory of properties is standardly combined with a realist's ontology of universals or tropes. In this paper, I consider an uncharted alternative – a nominalist causal theory of properties. I discuss advantages and disadvantages of the resulting theory of properties, and explore the Rylean understanding of causal powers that emerges.
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  • 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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  • The Powerlessness of Necessity.Markus Schrenk - 2010 - Noûs 44 (4):725-739.
    This paper concerns anti-Humean intuitions about connections in nature. It argues for the existence of a de re link that is not necessity.Some anti-Humeans tacitly assume that metaphysical necessity can be used for all sorts of anti-Humean desires. Metaphysical necessity is thought to stick together whatever would be loose and separate in a Hume world, as if it were a kind of universal superglue.I argue that this is not feasible. Metaphysical necessity might connect synchronically co-existent properties—kinds and their essential features, (...)
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  • Hic Rhodos, Hic Salta: From Reductionist Semantics to a Realist Ontology of Forceful Dispositions.Markus Schrenk - 2009 - In G. Damschen, K. Stueber & R. Schnepf (eds.), Debating Dispositions: Issues in Metaphysics, Epistemology and Philosophy of Mind. De Gruyter. pp. 143-167.
    It is widely believed that at least two developments in the last third of the 20th century have given dispositionalism—the view that powers, capacities, potencies, etc. are irreducible real properties—new credibility: (i) the many counterexamples launched against reductive analyses of dispositional predicates in terms of counterfactual conditionals and (ii) a new anti-Humean faith in necessary connections in nature which, it is said, owes a lot to Kripke’s arguments surrounding metaphysical necessity. I aim to show in this paper that necessity is, (...)
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  • Thought About Properties: Why the Perceptual Case is Basic.Dominic Alford-Duguid - 2018 - Philosophical Quarterly 68 (271):221-242.
    This paper defends a version of the old empiricist claim that to think about unobservable physical properties a subject must be able to think perception-based thoughts about observable properties. The central argument builds upon foundations laid down by G. E. M. Anscombe and P. F. Strawson. It bridges the gap separating these foundations and the target claim by exploiting a neglected connection between thought about properties and our grasp of causation. This way of bridging the gap promises to introduce substantive (...)
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  • On the Lumping Semantics of Counterfactuals.M. Kanazawa - 2005 - Journal of Semantics 22 (2):129-151.
    Kratzer (1981) discussed a naïve premise semantics of counterfactual conditionals, pointed to an empirical inadequacy of this interpretation, and presented a modification—partition semantics—which Lewis (1981) proved equivalent to Pollock's (1976) version of his ordering semantics. Subsequently, Kratzer (1989) proposed lumping semantics, a different modification of premise semantics, and argued it remedies empirical failings of ordering semantics as well as of naïve premise semantics. We show that lumping semantics yields truth conditions for counterfactuals that are not only different from what she (...)
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