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David J. Chalmers (2002). Does Conceivability Entail Possibility?

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  1.  40
    The Nature of Intuitions and Their Role in Material Object Metaphysics.Andrew Higgins - manuscript
    I argue for three central theses: ‘intuition’ is ambiguous, in material object metaphysics ‘intuition’ refers to pre-theoretical beliefs, and these pre-theoretical beliefs are generated by an innate physical reasoning system. I begin by outlining the relevant background discussions on the nature of intuitions and their role in philosophy to motivate the need for a more careful investigation of the meaning of ‘intuition’ and the role of intuitions in specific sub-disciplines of philosophy. In chapters one and two I argue that ‘intuition’ (...)
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  2.  90
    Philosophers Should Prefer Simpler Theories.Darren Bradley - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    Should philosophers prefer simpler theories? Huemer (Philos Q 59:216–236, 2009) argues that the reasons to prefer simpler theories in science do not apply in philosophy. I will argue that Huemer is mistaken—the arguments he marshals for preferring simpler theories in science can also be applied in philosophy. Like Huemer, I will focus on the philosophy of mind and the nominalism/Platonism debate. But I want to engage with the broader issue of whether simplicity is relevant to philosophy.
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  3.  76
    Powerful Qualities, Zombies and Inconceivability.Alexander Carruth - forthcoming - Philosophical Quarterly:pqv055.
  4.  34
    Can the Russellian Monist Escape the Epiphenomenalist’s Paradox?Lok-Chi Chan - forthcoming - Topoi:1-10.
    Russellian monism—an influential doctrine proposed by Russell (The analysis of matter, Routledge, London, 1927/1992)—is roughly the view that physics can only ever tell us about the causal, dispositional, and structural properties of physical entities and not their categorical (or intrinsic) properties, whereas our qualia are constituted by those categorical properties. In this paper, I will discuss the relation between Russellian monism and a seminal paradox facing epiphenomenalism, the paradox of phenomenal judgment: if epiphenomenalism is true—qualia are causally inefficacious—then any judgment (...)
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  5.  23
    Russell and the Temporal Contiguity of Causes and Effects.Graham Clay - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-20.
    There are some necessary conditions on causal relations that seem to be so trivial that they do not merit further inquiry. Many philosophers assume that the requirement that there could be no temporal gaps between causes and their effects is such a condition. Bertrand Russell disagrees. In this paper, an in-depth discussion of Russell’s argument against this necessary condition is the centerpiece of an analysis of what is at stake when one accepts or denies that there can be temporal gaps (...)
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  6.  21
    Communicating Egocentric Beliefs: Two-Content Accounts.Jens Kipper - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-21.
    It has long been known that the popular account of egocentric thoughts developed by David Lewis is in conflict with a natural account of communication, according to which successful communication requires the transmission of a thought content from speaker to hearer. In this paper, I discuss a number of proposed attempts to reconcile these two accounts of egocentric thought and communication. Each of them postulates two kinds of mental content, where one is egocentric, and the other is transmitted from speaker (...)
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  7.  27
    Grounding, Physicalism and Necessity.Donnchadh O’Conaill - forthcoming - Inquiry : An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-18.
    Recent work on metaphysical grounding has suggested that physicalism can be characterised in terms of the mental facts being grounded in physical facts. It is often assumed that the full grounds of a fact metaphysically necessitate that fact. Therefore, it seems that if the physical grounds the mental, then the physical facts metaphysically necessitate the mental facts. Stefan Leuenberger argues that such a version of physicalism would be vulnerable to counterexamples. I shall outline a characterisation of grounding which appeals to (...)
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  8.  46
    Conceivability, Inconceivability and Cartesian Modal Epistemology.Pierre Saint-Germier - forthcoming - Synthese:1-32.
    In various arguments, Descartes relies on the principles that conceivability implies possibility and that inconceivability implies impossibility. Those principles are in tension with another Cartesian view about the source of modality, i.e. the doctrine of the free creation of eternal truths. In this paper, I develop a ‘two-modality’ interpretation of the doctrine of eternal truths which resolves the tension and I discuss how the resulting modal epistemology can still be relevant for the contemporary discussion.
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  9. Mental Imagery and Fiction.Dustin Stokes - forthcoming - Canadian Journal of Philosophy:1-24.
    Fictions evoke imagery, and their value consists partly in that achievement. This paper offers analysis of this neglected topic. Section I identifies relevant philosophical background. II offers a working definition of imagery. III identifies empirical work on visual imagery. IV and V criticize imagery essentialism, through the lens of genuine fictional narratives. This outcome, though, is not wholly critical. The expressed spirit of imagery essentialism is to encourage philosophers to "put the image back into the imagination." The weakened conclusion is (...)
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  10.  16
    The Epistemology of Modality and the Problem of Modal Epistemic Friction.Anand Jayprakash Vaidya & Michael Wallner - forthcoming - Synthese:1-27.
    There are three theories in the epistemology of modality that have received sustained attention over the past 20 years : conceivability-theory, counterfactual-theory, and deduction-theory. In this paper we argue that all three face what we call the problem of modal epistemic friction. One consequence of the problem is that for any of the three accounts to yield modal knowledge, the account must provide an epistemology of essence. We discuss an attempt to fend off the problem within the context of the (...)
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  11.  94
    Conceivability and Possibility: Some Dilemmas for Humeans.Francesco Berto & Tom Schoonen - 2018 - Synthese 195 (6):2697-2715.
    The Humean view that conceivability entails possibility can be criticized via input from cognitive psychology. A mainstream view here has it that there are two candidate codings for mental representations (one of them being, according to some, reducible to the other): the linguistic and the pictorial, the difference between the two consisting in the degree of arbitrariness of the representation relation. If the conceivability of P at issue for Humeans involves the having of a linguistic mental representation, then it is (...)
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  12.  4
    On The‐Law Property Ascriptions to the Facts.Flávio Manuel Póvoa De Lima - 2018 - Ratio Juris 31 (2):231-250.
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  13.  40
    Strange-but-True: A New Argument for Contextualism About ‘Know’.Paul Dimmock - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (8):2005-2015.
    A powerful objection to subject-sensitive invariantism concerns various ‘strange-but-true’ conditionals. One popular response to this objection is to argue that strange-but-true conditionals pose a problem for non-sceptical epistemological theories in general. In the present paper, it is argued that strange-but-true conditionals are not a problem for contextualism about ‘know’. This observation undercuts the proposed defence of SSI, and supplies a surprising new argument for contextualism.
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  14. An Impossible Proof of God.Robert E. Pezet - 2018 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 83 (1):57-83.
    A new version of the ontological argument for the existence of God is outlined and examined. After giving a brief account of some traditional ontological arguments for the existence of God, where their defects are identified, it is explained how this new argument is built upon their foundations and surmounts their defects. In particular, this version uses the resources of impossible worlds to plug the common escape route from standard modal versions of the ontological argument. After outlining the nature of (...)
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  15.  20
    Toying with the Toolbox: How Metaphysics Can Still Make a Contribution.Steven French - 2018 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 49 (2):211-230.
    Current analytic metaphysics has been claimed to be, at best, out of touch with modern physics, at worst, actually in conflict with the latter The continuum companion to the philosophy of science, Continuum, London, 2011; Ladyman and Ross Every thing must go: metaphysics naturalized, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2007). While agreeing with some of these claims, it has been suggested that metaphysics may still be of service by providing a kind of ‘toolbox’ of devices that philosophers of science can access (...)
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  16.  22
    Moral Supervenience.Anandi Hattiangadi - 2018 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 48 (3-4):592-615.
    It is widely held, even among nonnaturalists, that the moral supervenes on the natural. This is to say that for any two metaphysically possible worlds w and w′, and for any entities x in w and y in w′, any isomorphism between x and y that preserves the natural properties preserves the moral properties. In this paper, I put forward a conceivability argument against moral supervenience, assuming non-naturalism. First, I argue that though utilitarianism may be true, and the trolley driver (...)
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  17. Two Notions of Metaphysical Modality.Antonella Mallozzi - 2018 - Synthese:1-22.
    The paper explores the project of an ambitious modal epistemology that attempts to combine the a priori methods of Chalmers’ 2D semantics with Kripke’s modal metaphysics. I argue that such a project is not viable. The ambitious modal epistemology involves an inconsistent triad composed of (1) Modal Monism, (2) Two-Dimensionalism, and what I call (3) “Metaphysical Kripkeanism”. I present the three theses and show how only two of those can be true at a time. There is a fundamental incompatibility between (...)
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  18.  11
    Destabilizing the Knowledge Argument and Modal Argument.Amber Ross - 2018 - Inquiry : An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 61 (5-6):499-519.
    Several of the most compelling anti-materialist arguments are motivated by the supposed existence of an unbridgeable epistemic gap between first-person subjective knowledge about one’s own conscious experience and third-personally acquired knowledge. The two with which this paper is concerned are Frank Jackson’s ‘knowledge argument’ and David Chalmers’s ‘modal argument’. The knowledge argument and the modal argument are often taken to function as ‘two sides of the same coin … in principle each succeeds on its own, but in practice they work (...)
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  19.  87
    Knowledge of Objective Modality.Margot Strohminger & Juhani Yli-Vakkuri - 2018 - Philosophical Studies:1-21.
    The epistemology of modality has focused on metaphysical modality and, more recently, counterfactual conditionals. Knowledge of kinds of modality that are not metaphysical has so far gone largely unexplored. Yet other theoretically interesting kinds of modality, such as nomic, practical, and 'easy' possibility, are no less puzzling epistemologically. Could Clinton easily have won the 2016 presidential election—was it an easy possibility? Given that she didn't in fact win the election, how, if at all, can we know whether she easily could (...)
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  20.  4
    Knowledge as a Non‐Normative Relation.Kurt Sylvan - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 97 (1):190-222.
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  21.  4
    Dissolving Type‐B Physicalism.Helen Yetter‐Chappell - 2018 - Philosophical Perspectives 31 (1):469-498.
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  22. Why Are Some Phenomenal Experiences 'Vivid' and Others 'Faint'? Representationalism, Imagery, and Cognitive Phenomenology.David Bourget - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (4):673-687.
    One central brand of representationalism claims that the specific phenomenal character of an experience is fully determined by its content. A challenge for this view is that cognitive and perceptual experiences sometimes seem to have the same representational content while differing in phenomenal character. In particular, it might seem that one can have faint imagery experiences or conscious thoughts with the same contents as vivid perceptual experiences. This paper argues that such cases never arise, and that they are probably metaphysically (...)
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  23. Why Are We Still Being Hornswoggled? Dissolving the Hard Problem of Consciousness.Glenn Carruthers & Elizabeth Schier - 2017 - Topoi 36 (1):67-79.
    In this paper we try to diagnose one reason why the debate regarding the Hard Problem of consciousness inevitably leads to a stalemate: namely that the characterisation of consciousness assumed by the Hard Problem is unjustified and probably unjustifiable. Following Dennett : 4–6, 1996, Cognition 79:221–237, 2001, J Conscious Stud 19:86, 2012) and Churchland :402–408, 1996, Brainwise: studies in neurophilosophy. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 2002), we argue that there is in fact no non-question begging argument for the claim that consciousness (...)
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  24.  3
    Intuition and Counterfactual Scenarios.Scott Forschler - 2017 - Southwest Philosophy Review 33 (2):169-178.
    Gerald Harrison has argued that the readiness with which we have and agree to moral intuitions about the value of disembodied persons shows that persons are essentially non-material, for if we were essentially material we would not so easily be able to ascribe moral value to an impossible non-material person. To support this point, he advances a somewhat novel metaphor of intuitions as a "call" to a help desk which can answer our queries about counter-factual scenarios. I first point out (...)
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  25.  71
    Access Denied to Zombies.Gualtiero Piccinini - 2017 - Topoi 36 (1):81-93.
    I argue that metaphysicians of mind have not done justice to the notion of accessibility between possible worlds. Once accessibility is given its due, physicalism must be reformulated and conceivability arguments must be reevaluated. To reach these conclusions, I explore a novel way of assessing the zombie conceivability argument. I accept that zombies are possible and ask whether that possibility is accessible from our world in the sense of ‘accessible’ used in possible world semantics. It turns out that the question (...)
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  26.  42
    On a Confusion About Which Intuitions to Trust: From the Hard Problem to a Not Easy One.Miguel Ángel Sebastián - 2017 - Topoi 36 (1):31-40.
    Alleged self-evidence aside, conceivability arguments are one of the main reasons in favor of the claim that there is a Hard Problem. These arguments depend on the appealing Kripkean intuition that there is no difference between appearances and reality in the case of consciousness. I will argue that this intuition rests on overlooking a distinction between cognitive access and consciousness, which has received recently important empirical support. I will show that there are good reasons to believe that the intuition is (...)
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  27.  25
    Phenomenology as Critique: Teleological–Historical Reflection and Husserl’s Transcendental Eidetics.Andreea Smaranda Aldea - 2016 - Husserl Studies 32 (1):21-46.
    Many have deemed ineluctable the tension between Husserl’s transcendental eidetics and his Crisis method of historical reflection. In this paper, I argue that this tension is an apparent one. I contend that dissolving this tension and showing not only the possibility, but also the necessity of the successful collaboration between these two apparently irreconcilable methods guarantees the very freedom of inquiry Husserl so emphatically stressed. To make this case, I draw from Husserl’s synthetic analyses of type and concept constitution as (...)
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  28. The Structure and Dynamics Argument Against Materialism.Torin Alter - 2016 - Noûs 50 (4):794-815.
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  29.  44
    Property Identity.Paul Audi - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (12):829-840.
    The question of how properties are individuated is extremely important. Consider the following proposals. To be in pain is to be in a certain neurological state. To be red is to appear red to normal observers in standard conditions. To be obligatory is to maximize the good. Each makes a claim of property identity. Each is a substantive metaphysical thesis of wide interest. None can be studied with due scrutiny in the absence of a general account of property identity. Here, (...)
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  30. Embodied Conceivability: How to Keep the Phenomenal Concept Strategy Grounded.Guy Dove & Andreas Elpidorou - 2016 - Mind and Language 31 (5):580-611.
    The Phenomenal Concept Strategy offers the physicalist perhaps the most promising means of explaining why the connection between mental facts and physical facts appears to be contingent even though it is not. In this article, we show that the large body of evidence suggesting that our concepts are often embodied and grounded in sensorimotor systems speaks against standard forms of the PCS. We argue, nevertheless, that it is possible to formulate a novel version of the PCS that is thoroughly in (...)
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  31. Seeing the Impossible.Andreas Elpidorou - 2016 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 74 (1):11-21.
    I defend the view that it is not impossible to see the impossible. I provide two examples in which one sees the impossible and defend these examples from potential objections. Theories of depiction should make room for impossible depictions.
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  32. Modal Scepticism, Yablo-Style Conceivability, and Analogical Reasoning.Peter Hartl - 2016 - Synthese 193 (1):269-291.
    This paper offers a detailed criticism of different versions of modal scepticism proposed by Van Inwagen and Hawke, and, against these views, attempts to vindicate our reliance on thought experiments in philosophy. More than one different meaning of “ modal scepticism” will be distinguished. Focusing mainly on Hawke’s more detailed view I argue that none of these versions of modal scepticism is compelling, since sceptical conclusions depend on an untenable and, perhaps, incoherent modal epistemology. With a detailed account of modal (...)
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  33. You Really Do Imagine It: Against Error Theories of Imagination.Peter Kung - 2016 - Noûs 50 (1):90-120.
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  34. How to Befriend Zombies: A Guide for Physicalists.Bradford Saad - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (9):2353-2375.
    Though not myself a physicalist, I develop a new argument against antiphysicalist positions that are motivated by zombie arguments. I first identify four general features of phenomenal states that are candidates for non-physical types; these are used to generate different types of zombie. I distinguish two antiphysicalist positions: strict dualism, which posits exactly one general non-physical type, and pluralism, which posits more than one such type. It turns out that zombie arguments threaten strict dualism and some pluralist positions as much (...)
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  35. 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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  36. Fact, Fiction, and Fantasy.Ben Blumson - 2015 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 39 (1):46-57.
    This paper argues: (1) All knowledge from fiction is from imagination (2) All knowledge from imagination is modal knowledge (3) So, all knowledge from fiction is modal knowledge Moreover, some knowledge is from fiction, so (1)-(3) are non-vacuously true.
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  37. Representationalism, Perceptual Distortion and the Limits of Phenomenal Concepts.David Bourget - 2015 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 45 (1):16-36.
    This paper replies to objections from perceptual distortion against the representationalist thesis that the phenomenal characters of experiences supervene on their intentional contents. It has been argued that some pairs of distorted and undistorted experiences share contents without sharing phenomenal characters, which is incompatible with the supervenience thesis. In reply, I suggest that such cases are not counterexamples to the representationalist thesis because the contents of distorted experiences are always impoverished in some way compared to those of normal experiences. This (...)
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  38. Modalism and Theoretical Virtues: Toward an Epistemology of Modality.Otávio Bueno & Scott A. Shalkowski - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (3):671-689.
    According to modalism, modality is primitive. In this paper, we examine the implications of this view for modal epistemology, and articulate a modalist account of modal knowledge. First, we discuss a theoretical utility argument used by David Lewis in support of his claim that there is a plurality of concrete worlds. We reject this argument, and show how to dispense with possible worlds altogether. We proceed to account for modal knowledge in modalist terms.
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  39. Stained Glass as a Model for Consciousness.Mihnea D. I. Capraru - 2015 - Philosophical Explorations 18 (1):90-103.
    Contemporary phenomenal externalists are motivated to a large extent by the transparency of experience and by the related doctrine of representationalism. On their own, however, transparency and representationalism do not suffice to establish externalism. Hence we should hesitate to dismiss phenomenal internalism, a view shared by many generations of competent philosophers. Rather, we should keep both our options open, internalism and externalism. It is hard, however, to see how to keep open the internalist option, for although transparency and representationalism have (...)
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  40. Phenomenal Contrast Arguments for Cognitive Phenomenology.Elijah Chudnoff - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 90 (2):82-104.
    According to proponents of irreducible cognitive phenomenology some cognitive states put one in phenomenal states for which no wholly sensory states suffice. One of the main approaches to defending the view that there is irreducible cognitive phenomenology is to give a phenomenal contrast argument. In this paper I distinguish three kinds of phenomenal contrast argument: what I call pure—represented by Strawson's Jack/Jacques argument—hypothetical—represented by Kriegel's Zoe argument—and glossed—first developed here. I argue that pure and hypothetical phenomenal contrast arguments face significant (...)
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  41. Consciousness: Individuated Information in Action.J. Jonkisz - 2015 - Frontiers in Psychology 6.
    Within theoretical and empirical enquiries, many different meanings associated with consciousness have appeared, leaving the term itself quite vague. This makes formulating an abstract and unifying version of the concept of consciousness – the main aim of this article –into an urgent theoretical imperative. It is argued that consciousness, characterized as dually accessible (cognized from the inside and the outside), hierarchically referential (semantically ordered), bodily determined (embedded in the working structures of an organism or conscious system), and useful in action (...)
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  42.  22
    Kant and the Simulation Hypothesis.Gagan Deep Kaur - 2015 - AI and Society 30 (2):183-192.
    Computational imagination (CI) conceives imagination as an agent’s simulated sensorimotor interaction with the environment in the absence of sensory feedback, predicting consequences based on this interaction (Marques and Holland in Neurocomputing 72:743–759, 2009). Its bedrock is the simulation hypothesis whereby imagination resembles seeing or doing something in reality as both involve similar neural structures in the brain (Hesslow in Trends Cogn Sci 6(6):242–247, 2002). This paper raises two-forked doubts: (1) neural-level equivalence is escalated to make phenomenological equivalence. Even at an (...)
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  43.  17
    Replies to Sullivan and Lange.Boris Kment - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 91 (2):516-539.
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  44. Self-Knowledge and Imagination.Peter Langland-Hassan - 2015 - Philosophical Explorations 18 (2):226-245.
    How do we know when we have imagined something? How do we distinguish our imaginings from other kinds of mental states we might have? These questions present serious, if often overlooked, challenges for theories of introspection and self-knowledge. This paper looks specifically at the difficulties imagination creates for Neo-Expressivist, outward-looking, and inner sense theories of self-knowledge. A path forward is then charted, by considering the connection between the kinds of situations in which we can reliably say that another person is (...)
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  45.  43
    Mass Additivity and a Priori Entailment.Kelvin J. McQueen - 2015 - Synthese 192 (5):1373-1392.
    The principle of mass additivity states that the mass of a composite object is the sum of the masses of its elementary components. Mass additivity is true in Newtonian mechanics but false in special relativity. Physicists have explained why mass additivity is true in Newtonian mechanics by reducing it to Newton’s microphysical laws. This reductive explanation does not fit well with deducibility theories of reductive explanation such as the modern Nagelian theory of reduction, and the a priori entailment theory of (...)
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  46.  12
    The Modal Argument Against Materialism and Intertheoretic Identities.David Pineda - 2015 - Dialectica 69 (4):491-515.
    In this paper I discuss, on behalf of the materialist, a consideration against the modal or conceivability argument against materialism which was first voiced in the third lecture of Naming and Necessity. This consideration is based on intertheoretic identities, statements in which both terms flanking the identity sign are theoretical. I argue that the defender of the conceivability argument has trouble to account for the appearance of contingency in those types of necessary identities. In fact, intertheoretic identities pose a formidable (...)
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  47. What Panpsychists Should Reject: On the Incompatibility of Panpsychism and Organizational Invariantism.Miguel Ángel Sebastián - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (7):1833-1846.
    Some philosophers, like David Chalmers, have either shown their sympathy for, or explicitly endorsed, the following two principles: Panpsychism—roughly the thesis that the mind is ubiquitous throughout the universe—and Organizational Invariantism—the principle that holds that two systems with the same fine-grained functional organization will have qualitatively identical experiences. The purpose of this paper is to show the tension between the arguments that back up both principles. This tension should lead, or so I will argue, defenders of one of the principles (...)
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  48. Dispositions and the Principle of Least Action Revisited.Benjamin T. H. Smart & Karim P. Y. Thébault - 2015 - Analysis 75 (3):386-395.
    Some time ago, Joel Katzav and Brian Ellis debated the compatibility of dispositional essentialism with the principle of least action. Surprisingly, very little has been said on the matter since, even by the most naturalistically inclined metaphysicians. Here, we revisit the Katzav–Ellis arguments of 2004–05. We outline the two problems for the dispositionalist identified Katzav in his 2004 , and claim they are not as problematic for the dispositional essentialist at it first seems – but not for the reasons espoused (...)
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  49.  31
    Properties, Laws, and Worlds.Deborah C. Smith - 2015 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 45 (4):471-489.
    Jonathan Schaffer argues against a necessary connection between properties and laws. He takes this to be a question of what possible worlds we ought to countenance in our best theories of modality, counterfactuals, etc. In doing so, he unfairly rigs the game in favor of contingentism. I argue that the necessitarian can resist Schaffer’s conclusion while accepting his key premise that our best theories of modality, counterfactuals, etc. require a very wide range of things called ‘possible worlds’. However, the necessitarian (...)
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  50. Indexical Beliefs and Communication: Against Stalnaker on Self‐Location.Clas Weber - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 90 (3):640-663.
    Beliefs are commonly analyzed as binary relations between subjects and propositions. Perry and Lewis have shown that the standard account has difficulties in handling self-locating beliefs. Robert Stalnaker has recently put forward a version of the standard account that is supposed to overcome this problem. Stalnaker's motivation for defending the propositional account of belief is that it comes with a simple and powerful propositional model of communication. In this paper I argue that Stalnaker's proposal fails. The only way of upholding (...)
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