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A World of States of Affairs

Philosophy 74 (287):130-134 (1997)

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  1. Representing Dispositions.Johannes Röhl & Ludger Jansen - 2011 - Journal of Biomedical Semantics 2 (4).
    Dispositions and tendencies feature significantly in the biomedical domain and therefore in representations of knowledge of that domain. They are not only important for specific applications like an infectious disease ontology, but also as part of a general strategy for modelling knowledge about molecular interactions. But the task of representing dispositions in some formal ontological systems is fraught with several problems, which are partly due to the fact that Description Logics can only deal well with binary relations. The paper will (...)
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  • Manifestations as Effects.Jennifer McKitrick - 2010 - In Anna Marmodoro (ed.), The Metaphysics of Powers: Their Grounding and Their Manifestations. Routledge.
    According to a standard characterization of dispositions, when a disposition is activated by a stimulus, a manifestation of that disposition typically occurs. For example, when flammable gasoline encounters a spark in an oxygen-rich environment, the manifestation of flammability—combustion—occurs. In the dispositions/powers literature, it is common to assume that a manifestation is an effect of a disposition being activated. (I use “disposition” and “power” interchangeably). I address two questions in this chapter: Could all manifestations be effects that involve things acquiring only (...)
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  • Composition as Identity.Meg Wallace - 2009 - Dissertation, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
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  • Causes as Powers. [REVIEW]Jennifer McKitrick, Anna Marmodoro, Stephen Mumford & Rani Lill Anjum - 2013 - Metascience 22 (3):545-559.
  • 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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  • Armstrong on Truthmaking and Realism.Tuomas 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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  • Structuring Reality.Naomi Margaret Claire Thompson - unknown
    This thesis explores attempts to characterise the structure of reality. Three notions stand out: Lewisian naturalness, Sider’s ‘structure’, and grounding, where the latter has become the most popular way to characterise the structure of reality in the contemporary literature. I argue that none of these notions, as they are currently understood, are suited for limning the metaphysical structure of reality. In the first part of the thesis I argue that, by the lights of the relevant theories, both naturalness and structure (...)
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  • Restricted Diachronic Composition and Special Relativity.Stephan Torre - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (2):235-255.
    When do objects at different times compose a further object? This is the question of diachronic composition. The universalist answers, ‘under any conditions whatsoever’. Others argue for restrictions on diachronic composition: composition occurs only when certain conditions are met. Recently, some philosophers have argued that restrictions on diachronic compositions are motivated by our best physical theories. In Persistence and Spacetime and elsewhere, Yuri Balashov argues that diachronic compositions are restricted in terms of causal connections between object stages. In a recent (...)
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  • Dynamic Humeanism.Michael Townsen Hicks - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axx006.
    Humean accounts of laws of nature fail to distinguish between dynamic laws and static initial conditions. But this distinction plays a central role in scientific theorizing and explanation. I motivate the claim that this distinction should matter for the Humean, and show that current views lack the resources to explain it. I then develop a regularity theory that captures this distinction. My view takes empirical accessibility to be one of the primary features of laws, and I identify features laws must (...)
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  • No Bare Particulars.Andrew M. Bailey - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 158 (1):31-41.
    There are predicates and subjects. It is thus tempting to think that there are properties on the one hand, and things that have them on the other. I have no quarrel with this thought; it is a fine place to begin a theory of properties and property-having. But in this paper, I argue that one such theory—bare particularism—is false. I pose a dilemma. Either bare particulars instantiate the properties of their host substances or they do not. If they do not, (...)
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  • Misrepresentation and Robustness of Meaning.Tevfik Aytekin–Erdinç Sayan - 2010 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 17 (1):21-38.
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  • Enciclopédia de Termos Lógico-Filosóficos.João Branquinho, Desidério Murcho & Nelson Gonçalves Gomes (eds.) - 2006 - São Paulo, SP, Brasil: Martins Fontes.
    Esta enciclopédia abrange, de uma forma introdutória mas desejavelmente rigorosa, uma diversidade de conceitos, temas, problemas, argumentos e teorias localizados numa área relativamente recente de estudos, os quais tem sido habitual qualificar como «estudos lógico-filosóficos». De uma forma apropriadamente genérica, e apesar de o território teórico abrangido ser extenso e de contornos por vezes difusos, podemos dizer que na área se investiga um conjunto de questões fundamentais acerca da natureza da linguagem, da mente, da cognição e do raciocínio humanos, bem (...)
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  • God is Not a Person.Simon Hewitt - 2019 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 85 (3):281-296.
    This paper transforms a development of an argument against pantheism into an objection to the usual account of God within contemporary analytic philosophy. A standard criticism of pantheism has it that pantheists cannot offer a satisfactory account of God as personal. My paper will develop this criticism along two lines: first, that personhood requires contentful mental states, which in turn necessitate the membership of a linguistic community, and second that personhood requires limitation within a wider context constitutive of the ’setting’ (...)
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  • From an Axiological Standpoint.Miles Tucker - 2019 - Ratio 32 (2):131-138.
    I maintain that intrinsic value is the fundamental concept of axiology. Many contemporary philosophers disagree; they say the proper object of value theory is final value. I examine three accounts of the nature of final value: the first claims that final value is non‐instrumental value; the second claims that final value is the value a thing has as an end; the third claims that final value is ultimate or non‐derivative value. In each case, I argue that the concept of final (...)
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  • Propositions Et États de Choses Chez Twardowski.Arianna Betti - 2005 - Dialogue 44 (3):469-492.
    Sur le contenu et l’objet des représentations (1894) de Kazimierz Twardowski est un des textes les plus influents de la tradition autrichienne. Le manuscrit Logik (1894-1895) complète ce dernier et nous permet entre autres de reconstruire la théorie du jugement de Twardowski. Ces textes soulèvent plusieurs questions, en particulier si Twardowski acceptait les notions de propositions et d’etats de choses, et si sa théorie est acceptable. Cet article presente la théorie de Twardowski, montre qu’il acceptait les états de choses, qu’il (...)
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  • Abstract Objects.Gideon Rosen - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  • 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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  • Quantity Tropes and Internal Relations.Markku Keinänen, Antti Keskinen & Jani Hakkarainen - 2019 - Erkenntnis 84 (3):519-534.
    In this article, we present a new conception of internal relations between quantity tropes falling under determinates and determinables. We begin by providing a novel characterization of the necessary relations between these tropes as basic internal relations. The core ideas here are that the existence of the relata is sufficient for their being internally related, and that their being related does not require the existence of any specific entities distinct from the relata. We argue that quantity tropes are, as determinate (...)
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  • Structure and Completeness: A Defense of Factualism in Categorial Ontology.Javier Cumpa - 2019 - Acta Analytica 34 (2):145-153.
    The aim of this paper is to offer two novel solutions to two perennial problems of categorial ontology, namely, the problem of the categorial structure: how are the categories related to one another? And the problem of categorial completeness: how is the completeness of a proposed list of categories justified? First, I argue that a system of categories should have a structure such that there is a most basic category that is a bearer of all other categories and that has (...)
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  • Categorical Priority and Categorical Collapse.L. A. Paul - 2013 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 87 (1):89-113.
    I explore some of the ways that assumptions about the nature of substance shape metaphysical debates about the structure of Reality. Assumptions about the priority of substance play a role in an argument for monism, are embedded in certain pluralist metaphysical treatments of laws of nature, and are central to discussions of substantivalism and relationalism. I will then argue that we should reject such assumptions and collapse the categorical distinction between substance and property.
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  • Realization and Causal Powers.Umut Baysan - 2014 - Dissertation, University of Glasgow
    In this thesis, I argue that physicalism should be understood to be the view that mental properties are realized by physical properties. In doing this, I explore what the realization relation might be. Since realization is the relation that should help us formulate physicalism, I suggest that the theoretical role of realization consists in explaining some of the things that physicalists wish to explain. These are: How are mental properties metaphysically necessitated by physical properties? How are mental properties causally efficacious? (...)
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  • A One Category Ontology.L. A. Paul - forthcoming - In John A. Keller (ed.), Being, Freedom, and Method: Themes From the Philosophy of Peter van Inwagen. Oxford University Press.
    I defend a one category ontology: an ontology that denies that we need more than one fundamental category to support the ontological structure of the world. Categorical fundamentality is understood in terms of the metaphysically prior, as that in which everything else in the world consists. One category ontologies are deeply appealing, because their ontological simplicity gives them an unmatched elegance and spareness. I’m a fan of a one category ontology that collapses the distinction between particular and property, replacing it (...)
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  • Simples and Gunk.McDaniel Kris - unknown
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  • On an Argument for Humility.Ann Whittle - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 130 (3):461-497.
    Considerations upon the nature of properties and laws have led some philosophers to claim that the correct epistemic attitude with regards to the intrinsic properties of particulars is scepticism. I examine one particularly clear version of this line of argument, and contend that a serious form of scepticism is not established. However, I argue that the theories of properties and laws underlying the argument have unwanted metaphysical implications. These provide a stronger reason to jettison the analyses. I end by sketching (...)
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  • A Functionalist Theory of Properties.Ann Whittle - 2008 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 77 (1):59-82.
    I consider a grand, yet neglected proposal put forward by Shoemaker—a functionalist theory of all properties. I argue that two possible ways of developing this proposal meet with substantial objections. However, if we are prepared to endorse an ontology of tropes, one of these functionalist analyses can be developed into an original and informative theory of properties.
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  • Active Powers and Passive Powers – Do Causal Interactions Require Both?Tobias Hansson Wahlberg - forthcoming - Philosophia.
    Many powers metaphysicians postulate both active and passive powers, understood as distinct kinds of intrinsic causal properties of objects. I argue that the category of passive power is superfluous. I also offer a diagnosis of how philosophers are misled to postulate passive powers.
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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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  • For Keeping Truth in Truthmaking.Fraser MacBride - 2013 - Analysis 73 (4):686-695.
    Is the truthmaker principle a development of the correspondence theory of truth? So Armstrong introduced the truthmaker principle to us, but Lewis (2001. Forget about the ‘correspondence theory of truth’. Analysis 61: 275–80.) influentially argued that it is neither a correspondence theory nor a theory of truth. But the truthmaker principle can be correctly understood as a development of the correspondence theory if it’s conceived as incorporating the insight that truth is a relation between truth-bearers and something worldly. And we (...)
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  • Interfering with Nomological Necessity.Markus Schrenk - 2011 - Philosophical Quarterly 61 (244):577-597.
    Since causal processes can be prevented and interfered with, law-governed causation is a challenge for necessitarian theories of laws of nature. To show that there is a problematic friction between necessity and interference, I focus on David Armstrong's theory; with one proviso, his lawmaker, nomological necessity, is supposed to be instantiated as the causation of the law's second relatum whenever its first relatum is instantiated. His proviso is supposed to handle interference cases, but fails to do so. In order to (...)
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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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  • Is More Different? Emergent Properties in Physics.Paul Mainwood - unknown
    This thesis gives a philosophical assessment of a contemporary movement, influential amongst physicists, about the status of microscopic and macroscopic properties. The fountainhead for the movement was a short 1972 paper `More is Different', written by the condensed-matter physicist, Philip Anderson. Each of the chapters is concerned with themes mentioned in that paper, or subsequently expounded by Anderson and his followers. In Chapter 1, I aim to locate Anderson's existence claims for `emergent properties' within the metaphysical, epistemological and methodological doctrines (...)
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  • Grounding-Mechanical Explanation.Kelly Trogdon - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (6):1289-1309.
    I argue that there is an important similarity between causation and grounding. In particular I argue that, just as there is a type of scientific explanation that appeals to causal mechanisms—causal-mechanical explanation—there is a type of metaphysical explanation that appeals to grounding mechanisms—grounding-mechanical explanation. The upshot is that the role that grounding mechanisms play in certain metaphysical explanations mirrors the role that causal mechanisms play in certain scientific explanations. In this light, it becomes clear that grounding-mechanical explanations make crucial contributions (...)
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  • Commentary on Kathrin Koslicki’s The Structure of Objects.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2011 - Humana Mente 4 (19):197-204.
    This is a critical commentary on Kathrin Koslicki's book The Structure of Objects (OUP, 2008).
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  • The Epistemology of Geometry I: The Problem of Exactness.Anne Newstead & Franklin James - 2010 - Proceedings of the Australasian Society for Cognitive Science 2009.
    We show how an epistemology informed by cognitive science promises to shed light on an ancient problem in the philosophy of mathematics: the problem of exactness. The problem of exactness arises because geometrical knowledge is thought to concern perfect geometrical forms, whereas the embodiment of such forms in the natural world may be imperfect. There thus arises an apparent mismatch between mathematical concepts and physical reality. We propose that the problem can be solved by emphasizing the ways in which the (...)
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  • Grammar, Ontology, and the Unity of Meaning.Ulrich Reichard - 2013 - Dissertation, University of Durham
    Words have meaning. Sentences also have meaning, but their meaning is different in kind from any collection of the meanings of the words they contain. I discuss two puzzles related to this difference. The first is how the meanings of the parts of a sentence combine to give rise to a unified sentential meaning, as opposed to a mere collection of disparate meanings (UP1). The second is why the formal ontology of linguistic meaning changes when grammatical structure is built up (...)
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  • Mathematical Form in the World.David Woodruff Smith - 2002 - Philosophia Mathematica 10 (2):102-129.
    This essay explores an ideal notion of form (mathematical structure) that embraces logical, phenomenological, and ontological form. Husserl envisioned a correlation among forms of expression, thought, meaning, and object—positing ideal forms on all these levels. The most puzzling formal entities Husserl discussed were those he called ‘manifolds’. These manifolds, I propose, are forms of complex states of affairs or partial possible worlds representable by forms of theories (compare structuralism). Accordingly, I sketch an intentionality-based semantics correlating these four Husserlian levels of (...)
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  • Semantic Verbs Are Intensional Transitives.Justin D’Ambrosio - 2019 - Mind 128 (509):213-248.
    In this paper I show that we have strong empirical and theoretical reasons to treat the verbs we use in our semantic theorizing—particularly ‘refers to ’, ‘applies to ’, and ‘is true of ’—as intensional transitive verbs. Stating our semantic theories with intensional vocabulary allows us to partially reconcile two competing approaches to the nature and subject-matter of semantics: the Chomskian approach, on which semantics is non-relational, internalistic, and concerns the psychology of language users, and the Lewisian approach, on which (...)
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  • A Dispositional Theory of Health.Sander Werkhoven - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axy003.
    A satisfactory account of the nature of health is important for a wide range of theoretical and practical reasons. No theory offered in the literature thus far has been able to meet all the desiderata for an adequate theory of health. This paper introduces a new theory of health, according to which health is best defined in terms of dispositions at the level of the organism as a whole. After outlining the main features of the account and providing formal definitions (...)
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  • 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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  • The False Modesty of the Identity Theory of Truth.Pascal Engel - 2001 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 9 (4):441 – 458.
    The identity theory of truth, according to which true thoughts are identical with facts, is very hard to formulate. It oscillates between substantive versions, which are implausible, and a merely truistic version, which is difficult to distinguish from deflationism about truth. This tension is present in the form of identity theory that one can attribute to McDowell from his views on perception, and in the conception defended by Hornsby under that name.
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  • Necessary Laws.Max Kistler - 2005 - In Jan Faye, Paul Needham, Uwe Scheffler & Max Urchs (eds.), Nature’s Principles. Springer. pp. 201-227.
    In the first part of this paper, I argue against the view that laws of nature are contingent, by attacking a necessary condition for its truth within the framework of a conception of laws as relations between universals. I try to show that there is no independent reason to think that universals have an essence independent of their nomological properties. However, such a non-qualitative essence is required to make sense of the idea that different laws link the same universals in (...)
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  • Strong Necessitarianism: The Nomological Identity of Possible Worlds.Alexander Bird - 2004 - Ratio 17 (3):256–276.
    Dispositional essentialism, a plausible view about the natures of (sparse or natural) properties, yields a satisfying explanation of the nature of laws also. The resulting necessitarian conception of laws comes in a weaker version, which allows differences between possible worlds as regards which laws hold in those worlds and a stronger version that does not. The main aim of this paper is to articulate what is involved in accepting the stronger version, most especially the consequence that all possible properties exist (...)
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  • Simon Bostock.Property Realism - forthcoming - Metaphysica.
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  • Supervenience-Based Formulations of Physicalism.Jessica Wilson - 2005 - Noûs 39 (3):426-459.
    The physicalist thesis that all entities are nothing over and above physical entities is often interpreted as appealing to a supervenience-based account of "nothing over and aboveness”, where, schematically, the A-entities are nothing over and above the B-entities if the A-entities supervene on the B-entities. The main approaches to filling in this schema correspond to different ways of characterizing the modal strength, the supervenience base, or the supervenience connection at issue. I consider each approach in turn, and argue that the (...)
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  • On Characterizing the Physical.Jessica Wilson - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 131 (1):61-99.
    How should physical entities be characterized? Physicalists, who have most to do with the notion, usually characterize the physical by reference to two components: 1. The physical entities are the entities treated by fundamental physics with the proviso that 2. Physical entities are not fundamentally mental (that is, do not individually possess or bestow mentality) Here I explore the extent to which the appeals to fundamental physics and to the NFM (“no fundamental mentality”) constraint are appropriate for characterizing the physical, (...)
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  • Counterparts and Qualities.Manfred Kupffer - unknown
    David Lewis proposed to deal with the semantics of sentences that state what is possible for an individual in terms of possible individuals that are in ways the first individual might have been, so called counterparts of the individual. In this book, I defend counterpart semantics as an approach to the semantics of modality and natural language semantics in particular. Counterpart semantics has a rival, the standard Kripkean semantics that deals with the same sentences in terms of an accessibility relation (...)
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  • Against Parthood.Theodore Sider - 2013 - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 8:237–293.
    Mereological nihilism says that there do not exist (in the fundamental sense) any objects with proper parts. A reason to accept it is that we can thereby eliminate 'part' from fundamental ideology. Many purported reasons to reject it - based on common sense, perception, and the possibility of gunk, for example - are weak. A more powerful reason is that composite objects seem needed for spacetime physics; but sets suffice instead.
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  • The Mystery of the Disappearing Diamond.C. S. Jenkins - 2009 - In Joe Salerno (ed.), New Essays on the Knowability Paradox. Oxford University Press. pp. 302--319.
    Addresses the question of why we find Fitch's knowability 'paradox' argument surprising.
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  • Evo-Devo: A Science of Dispositions.Christopher Austin - 2017 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 7 (2):373-389.
    Evolutionary developmental biology represents a paradigm shift in the understanding of the ontogenesis and evolutionary progression of the denizens of the natural world. Given the empirical successes of the evo-devo framework, and its now widespread acceptance, a timely and important task for the philosophy of biology is to critically discern the ontological commitments of that framework and assess whether and to what extent our current metaphysical models are able to accommodate them. In this paper, I argue that one particular model (...)
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  • A Biologically Informed Hylomorphism.Christopher J. Austin - 2017 - In William M. R. Simpson, Robert C. Koons & Nicholas J. Teh (eds.), Neo-Aristotelian Perspectives on Contemporary Science. Routledge. pp. 185-210.
    Although contemporary metaphysics has recently undergone a neo-Aristotelian revival wherein dispositions, or capacities are now commonplace in empirically grounded ontologies, being routinely utilised in theories of causality and modality, a central Aristotelian concept has yet to be given serious attention – the doctrine of hylomorphism. The reason for this is clear: while the Aristotelian ontological distinction between actuality and potentiality has proven to be a fruitful conceptual framework with which to model the operation of the natural world, the distinction between (...)
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