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  1. Determinables in Frames.David Hommen - 2021 - Acta Analytica 36 (2):291-310.
    In this paper, I assess the ontological commitments of frame-based methods of knowledge representation. Frames decompose concepts into recursive attribute-value structures. Attributes are the general aspects by which a category or individual is described; their values are more or less specific properties that are assigned to the referential object. The question is: are these properties to be interpreted as universals or as tropes? Some trope theorists allege that an interpretation in terms of universals is incompatible with frames for individuals in (...)
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  • Moral Vagueness: A Dilemma for Non-Naturalism.Cristian Constantinescu - 2014 - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics: Volume 9. Oxford University Press. pp. 152-185.
    In this paper I explore the implications of moral vagueness (viz., the vagueness of moral predicates) for non-naturalist metaethical theories like those recently championed by Shafer-Landau, Parfit, and others. I characterise non-naturalism in terms of its commitment to 7 theses: Cognitivism, Correspondence, Atomism, Objectivism, Supervenience, Non-reductivism, and Rationalism. I start by offering a number of reasons for thinking that moral predicates are vague in the same way in which ‘red’, ‘tall’, and ‘heap’ are said to be. I then argue that (...)
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  • Ditching Determination and Dependence: Or, How to Wear the Crazy Trousersa.James Norton, Kristie Miller & Michael Duncan - 2018 - Synthese 198 (1):395-418.
    This paper defends Flatland—the view that there exist neither determination nor dependence relations, and that everything is therefore fundamental—from the objection from explanatory inefficacy. According to that objection, Flatland is unattractive because it is unable to explain either the appearance as of there being determination relations, or the appearance as of there being dependence relations. We show how the Flatlander can meet the first challenge by offering four strategies—reducing, eliminating, untangling and omnizing—which, jointly, explain the appearance as of determination relations (...)
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  • Causal Properties and Conservative Reduction.Michael Esfeld - unknown
    The paper argues in favour of a causal-functional theory of all properties including the physical ones and a conception of properties as tropes or modes in the sense of particular ways that objects are. It shows how these premises open up a version of functionalism according to which the properties on which the special sciences focus are identical with configurations of physical properties and thereby causally efficacious without there being any threat of eliminativism.
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  • Two Myths of Psychophysical Reductionism.Restrepo Ricardo - 2012 - Open Journal of Philosophy 2 (2):75.
    This paper focuses on two prominent arguments claiming that physicalism entails reductionism. One is Kim’s causal exclusion argument (CEA), and the other is Papineau’s causal argument. The paper argues that Kim’s CEA is not logically valid and that it is driven by two implausible justifications. One is “Edward’s dictum”, which is alien to non-reductive physicalism and should be rejected. The other is by endorsement of Papineau’s conception of the physical, immanent in Papineau’s causal argument. This argument only arrives at the (...)
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  • Singularist Semirealism.Bence Nanay - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (2):371-394.
    This paper proposes to carve out a new position in the scientific realism/antirealism debate and argue that it captures some of the most important realist and some of the most important antirealist considerations. The view, briefly stated, is that there is always a fact of the matter about whether the singular statements science gives us are literally true, but there is no fact of the matter about whether the non-singular statements science gives us are literally true. I call this view (...)
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  • Mental Causation and the New Compatibilism.Jens Harbecke - 2013 - Abstracta 7 (1).
    Twenty years ago Stephen Yablo developed his original theory of mental causation, which has drawn much attention ever since. By providing a detailed reconstruction of Yablo’s approach, this paper first demonstrates that a certain line of critique that has repeatedly been brought forward against Yablo over the last two decades misconstrues the core idea of the model. At the same time, the reconstruction reveals that Yablo’s approach is probably the first explicit version of the “new compatibilism” within the philosophy of (...)
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  • Irreducibly Thick Evaluation is Not Thinly Evaluative.N. D. Cannon - 2020 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 23 (3-4):651-666.
    In this paper, I criticize the pairing of irreducible thickness with the traditional view of evaluation which says evaluation is a matter of encoding good or bad in some way. To do this, I first explicate the determination view, which holds that irreducibly thick concepts are to thin concepts as determinates are to determinables. I then show that, even if the determination view did establish irreducible thickness, it would not have proven that the evaluative is well understood as being an (...)
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  • Nomological Resemblance.Robin Stenwall - 2013 - Metaphysica 14 (1):31-46.
    Laws of nature concern the natural properties of things. Newton’s law of gravity states that the gravitational force between objects is proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of their distance; Coulomb’s law states a similar functional dependency between charged particles. Each of these properties confers a power to act as specified by the function of the laws. Consequently, properties of the same quantity confer resembling powers. Any theory that takes powers seriously must account (...)
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  • Can The Mental Be Causally Efficacious?Panu Raatikainen - 2013 - In K. Talmont-Kaminski M. Milkowski (ed.), Regarding the Mind, Naturally: Naturalist Approaches to the Sciences of the Mental. Cambridge Scholars Press.
  • Determinable Properties and Overdetermination of Causal Powers.Jonas Christensen - 2014 - Philosophia 42 (3):695-711.
    Do determinable properties such as colour, mass, and height exist in addition to their corresponding determinates, being red, having a mass of 1 kilogram, and having a height of 2 metres? Optimists say yes, pessimists say no. Among the latter are Carl Gillett and Bradley Rives who argue that optimism leads to systematic overdetermination of causal powers and hence should be rejected on the grounds that the position is ontologically unparsimonious. In this paper I defend optimism against this charge by (...)
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  • Causal Overdetermination for Humeans?Michael Esfeld - 2010 - Metaphysica 11 (2):99-104.
    The paper argues against systematic overdetermination being an acceptable solution to the problem of mental causation within a Humean counterfactual theory of causation. The truth-makers of the counterfactuals in question include laws of nature, and there are laws that support physical to physical counterfactuals, but no laws in the same sense that support mental to physical counterfactuals.
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  • Ontological Commitments of Frame-Based Knowledge Representations.David Hommen - 2019 - Synthese 196 (10):4155-4183.
    In this paper, I shall assess the ontological commitments of frame-based methods of knowledge representation. Frames decompose concepts into recursive attribute-value structures. The question is: are the attribute values in frames to be interpreted as universal properties or rather as tropes? I shall argue that universals realism and trope theory face similar complications as far as non-terminal values, i.e., values which refer to the determinable properties of objects, are concerned. It is suggested that these complications can be overcome if one (...)
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  • Truth, Grounding & Dependence.Robin Stenwall - 2015 - Dissertation, Lund University
    The subjects of this thesis are truth, grounding and dependence. The thesis consists of an introduction and five free-standing essays. The purpose of the introduction is not merely to summarize the papers, but to provide a general background to the discussions in the essays. The introduction is divided into four chapters, each of which splits into a number of sections and/or subsections. Chapter 1. concerns the notion of ontological dependence. I start by making a distinction between two different types of (...)
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  • The Causal Homogeneity of Biological Kinds.Michael Esfeld - 2005 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 27 (3/4):421 - 433.
    The aim of this paper is to show that biological kinds can be causally homogeneous, although all biological causes are identical with configurations of physical causes. The paper considers two different strategies to establish that result: the first one relies on two different manners of classification (according to function and according to composition); the other one exploits the idea of biological classifications being rather coarse-grained, whereas physical classifications are fine-grained.
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  • Correction to: Ontological commitments of frame-based knowledge representations.David Hommen - 2020 - Synthese 197 (4):1839-1840.
    In Hommen, I refer to the work of Garcia in Garcia. In this addendum, I would like to supplement additional references to these papers.
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  • Combining Minds: A Defence of the Possibility of Experiential Combination.Luke Roelofs - 2015 - Dissertation, University of Toronto
    This thesis explores the possibility of composite consciousness: phenomenally conscious states belonging to a composite being in virtue of the consciousness of, and relations among, its parts. We have no trouble accepting that a composite being has physical properties entirely in virtue of the physical properties of, and relations among, its parts. But a long­standing intuition holds that consciousness is different: my consciousness cannot be understood as a complex of interacting component consciousnesses belonging to parts of me. I ask why: (...)
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  • On the Metaphysics of Mental Causation.Dwayne Moore & Neil Campbell - 2015 - Abstracta 8 (2):3-16.
    In a series of recent papers, Cynthia MacDonald and Graham MacDonald offer a resolution to the twin problems of mental causation and mental causal relevance. They argue that the problem of mental causation is soluble via token monism – mental events are causally efficacious physical events. At the same time, the problem of mental causal relevance is solved by combining this causally efficacious mental property instance with the systematic co-variation between distinct mental properties of the cause and the action-theoretic properties (...)
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  • Replacing Functional Reduction with Mechanistic Explanation.Markus I. Eronen - 2011 - Philosophia Naturalis 48 (1):125-153.
    Recently the functional model of reduction has become something like the standard model of reduction in philosophy of mind. In this paper, I argue that the functional model fails as an account of reduction due to problems related to three key concepts: functionalization, realization and causation. I further argue that if we try to revise the model in order to make it more coherent and scientifically plausible, the result is merely a simplified version of what in philosophy of science is (...)
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  • Nomological Resemblance.Robin Stenwall - 2012 - Metaphysica 14 (1):31-46.
    Laws of nature concern the natural properties of things. Newton’s law of gravity states that the gravitational force between objects is proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of their distance; Coulomb’s law states a similar functional dependency between charged particles. Each of these properties confers a power to act as specified by the function of the laws. Consequently, properties of the same quantity confer resembling powers. Any theory that takes powers seriously must account (...)
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  • Spin as a Determinable.Johanna Wolff - 2015 - Topoi 34 (2):379-386.
    In this paper I aim to answer two questions: Can spin be treated as a determinable? Can a treatment of spin as a determinable be used to understand quantum indeterminacy? In response to the first question I show that the relations among spin number, spin components and spin values cannot be captured by a single determination relation; instead we need to look at spin number and spin value separately. In response to the second question I discuss three ways in which (...)
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  • Can Determinable Properties Earn Their Keep?Robert Schroer - 2011 - Synthese 183 (2):229-247.
    Sydney Shoemaker's "Subset Account" offers a new take on determinable properties and the realization relation as well as a defense of non-reductive physicalism from the problem of mental causation. At the heart of this account are the claims that (1) mental properties are determinable properties and (2) the causal powers that individuate a determinable property are a proper subset of the causal powers that individuate the determinates of that property. The second claim, however, has led to the accusation that the (...)
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  • Points of View Beyond Models: Towards a Formal Approach to Points of View as Access to the World. [REVIEW]Fernando Charro & Juan J. Colomina - 2014 - Foundations of Science 19 (2):137-151.
    According to Vázquez and Liz (Found Sci 16(4): 383–391, 2011), Points of View (PoV) can be considered in two different ways. On the one hand, they can be explained following the model of propositional attitudes. This model assumes that the internal structure of a PoV is constituted by a subject, a set of contents, and a set of relations between the subject and those contents. On the other hand, we can analyze points of view taking as a model the notions (...)
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  • Making Sense of Negative Properties.David Hommen - 2017 - Axiomathes 28 (1):81-106.
    Few philosophers believe in the existence of so-called negative properties. Indeed, many find it mind-boggling just to imagine such entities. By contrast, I believe not only that negative properties are quite conceivable, but also that there are good reasons for thinking that some such properties actually exist. In this paper, I would like to explicate a concept of negative properties which I think avoids the logical absurdities commonly believed to frustrate theories of negative existences. To do this, I shall deploy (...)
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  • Replication Without Replicators.Bence Nanay - 2011 - Synthese 179 (3):455-477.
    According to a once influential view of selection, it consists of repeated cycles of replication and interaction. It has been argued that this view is wrong: replication is not necessary for evolution by natural selection. I analyze the nine most influential arguments for this claim and defend the replication–interaction conception of selection against these objections. In order to do so, however, the replication–interaction conception of selection needs to be modified significantly. My proposal is that replication is not the copying of (...)
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  • The Individuation of Causal Powers by Events (and Consequences of the Approach).Brandon N. Towl - 2010 - Metaphysica 11 (1):49-61.
    In this paper, I explore the notion of a “causal power”, particularly as it is relevant to a theory of properties whereby properties are individuated by the causal powers they bestow on the objects that instantiate them. I take as my target certain eliminativist positions that argue that certain kinds of properties (or relations) do not exist because they fail to bestow unique causal powers on objects. But the notion of a causal powers is inextricably bound up with our notion (...)
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  • Disproportional Mental Causation.Justin T. Tiehen - 2011 - Synthese 182 (3):375-391.
    In this paper I do three things. First, I argue that Stephen Yablo’s influential account of mental causation is susceptible to counterexamples involving what I call disproportional mental causation. Second, I argue that similar counterexamples can be generated for any alternative account of mental causation that is like Yablo’s in that it takes mental states and their physical realizers to causally compete. Third, I show that there are alternative nonreductive approaches to mental causation which reject the idea of causal competition, (...)
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  • Preface.Raphael van Riel & Albert Newen - 2011 - Philosophia Naturalis 48 (1):5-8.
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  • No Watershed for Overflow: Recent Work on the Richness of Consciousness.Ian Phillips - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (2):236-249.
    A familiar and enduring controversy surrounds the question of whether our phenomenal experience “overflows” availability to cognition: do we consciously see more than we can remember and report? Both sides to this debate have long sought to move beyond naïve appeals to introspection by providing empirical evidence for or against overflow. Recently, two notable studies—Bronfman, Brezis, Jacobson, and Usher and Vandenbroucke, Sligte, Fahrenfort, Ambroziak, and Lamme —have purported to provide compelling evidence in favor of overflow. Here I explain why the (...)
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  • Proportionality and Omissions.Phil Dowe - 2010 - Analysis 70 (3):446-451.
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  • Rendering Interventionism and Non‐Reductive Physicalism Compatible.Michael Baumgartner - 2013 - Dialectica 67 (1):1-27.
    In recent years, the debate on the problem of causal exclusion has seen an ‘interventionist turn’. Numerous non-reductive physicalists (e.g. Shapiro and Sober 2007) have argued that Woodward's (2003) interventionist theory of causation provides a means to empirically establish the existence of non-reducible mental-to-physical causation. By contrast, Baumgartner (2010) has presented an interventionist exclusion argument showing that interventionism is in fact incompatible with non-reductive physicalism. In response, a number of revised versions of interventionism have been suggested that are compatible with (...)
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  • Frames and the Ontology of Particular Objects.David Hommen - 2018 - Dialectica 72 (3):385-409.
    The theory of frames has recently been proposed as a universal format for knowledge representation in language, cognition and science. Frames represent categories as well as individual objects and events in terms of recursive attribute-value structures. In this paper, we would like to explore the potential ontological commitments of frame-based knowledge representations, with particular emphasis on the ontological status of the possessors of quality attributes in individual object frames. While not strictly incompatible with nominalistic, bundle- or substratum-theoretic approaches to the (...)
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  • What is the Exclusion Problem?Jeff Engelhardt - 2015 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 96 (2):205-232.
    The philosophical literature contains at least three formulations of the problem of causal exclusion. Although each of the three most common formulations targets theories according to which some effects have ‘too many determiners’, no one is reducible to either of the others. This article proposes two ‘new’ exclusion problems and suggests that exclusion is not a single problem but a family of problems unified by the situations they problematize. It is shown, further, that for three of the most popular attempts (...)
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  • Reconciling Omissions and Causalism.Fabio Bacchini - 2018 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 9 (3):627-645.
    If causalism is a complete theory of what it is to behave intentionally, it also has to account for intentional omissions. Carolina Sartorio, 513–530, 2009) has developed a powerful argument, the Causal Exclusion for Omissions, showing that intentional omissions cannot be explained by causalism. A crucial claim in the argument is that there is a causal competition between a mental omission and the mental action performed instead. In this paper I reject the argument by demonstrating that there is no causal (...)
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  • Moving Beyond the Subset Model of Realization: The Problem of Qualitative Distinctness in the Metaphysics of Science.Carl Gillett - 2010 - Synthese 177 (2):165 - 192.
    Understanding the 'making-up' relations, to put things neutrally, posited in mechanistic explanations the sciences is finally an explicit topic of debate amongst philosophers of science. In particular, there is now lively debate over the nature of the so-called 'realization' relations between properties posited in such explanations. Despite criticism (Gillett, Analysis 62: 316-323, 2002a), the most common approach continues to be that of applying machinery developed in the philosophy of mind to scientific concepts in what is known as the 'Flat' or (...)
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  • Against Disanalogy-Style Responses to the Exclusion Problem.Kevin Morris - 2015 - Philosophia 43 (2):435-453.
    This paper focuses on an influential line of response to the exclusion problem for nonreductive physicalism, one defended with the most subtlety by Karen Bennett. According to this line of thought, a successful nonreductive response to the exclusion problem, a response that allows one to maintain each of the core components of nonreductive physicalism, may consist in showing that the manner in which the effects of mental causes also have distinct and sufficient physical causes is disanalogous to other types of (...)
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