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  1. The Problem of Processes and Transitions: Are Diseases Phase Kinds? [REVIEW]Stefan Dragulinescu - 2012 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 15 (1):79-89.
    In this paper I discuss a central objection against diseases being natural kinds—namely, that diseases are processes or transitions and hence they should not be conceptualized in the ‘substantish’ framework of natural kinds. I indicate that the objection hinges on conceiving disease kinds as phase kinds, in contrast to the non-phase, natural kinds of the exact sciences. I focus on somatic diseases and argue, via a representative comparison, that if disease kinds are phase kinds, then exact science kinds are phase (...)
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  • The Epistemology of Modality and the Problem of Modal Epistemic Friction.Anand Jayprakash Vaidya & Michael Wallner - 2018 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 8):1909-1935.
    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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  • Knowing How Things Might Have Been.Mark Jago - 2018 - Synthese (Suppl 8):1-19.
    I know that I could have been where you are right now and that you could have been where I am right now, but that neither of us could have been turnips or natural numbers. This knowledge of metaphysical modality stands in need of explanation. I will offer an account based on our knowledge of the natures, or essencess, of things. I will argue that essences need not be viewed as metaphysically bizarre entities; that we can conceptualise and refer to (...)
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  • Against the Reduction of Modality to Essence.Nathan Wildman - 2018 - Synthese (Suppl 6):1-17.
    It is a truth universally acknowledged that a claim of metaphysical modality, in possession of good alethic standing, must be in want of an essentialist foundation. Or at least so say the advocates of the reductive-essence-first view, according to which all modality is to be reductively defined in terms of essence. Here, I contest this bit of current wisdom. In particular, I offer two puzzles—one concerning the essences of non-compossible, complementary entities, and a second involving entities whose essences are modally (...)
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  • Superexplanations for Counterfactual Knowledge.Antonella Mallozzi - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (4):1315-1337.
    I discuss several problems for Williamson’s counterfactual-theory of modal knowledge and argue that they have a common source, in that the theory neglects to elucidate the proper constraints on modal reasoning. Williamson puts forward an empirical hypothesis that rests on the role of counterfactual reasoning for modal knowledge. But he overlooks central questions of normative modal epistemology. In order for counterfactual reasoning to yield correct beliefs about modality, it needs to be suitably constrained. I argue that what is needed is, (...)
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  • Social Kinds Are Essentially Mind-Dependent.Rebecca Mason - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    I defend a novel view of how social kinds (e.g., money, women, permanent residents) depend on our mental states. In particular, I argue that social kinds depend on our mental states in the following sense: it is essential to them that they exist (partially) because certain mental states exist. This analysis is meant to capture the very general way in which all social kinds depend on our mental states. However, my view is that particular social kinds also depend on our (...)
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  • Essential Bundle Theory and Modality.Mark Jago - 2018 - Synthese (Suppl 6):1-16.
    Bundle theories identify material objects with bundles of properties. On the traditional approach, these are the properties possessed by that material object. That view faces a deep problem: it seems to say that all of an object’s properties are essential to it. Essential bundle theory attempts to overcome this objection, by taking the bundle as a specification of the object’s essential properties only. In this paper, I show that essential bundle theory faces a variant of the objection. To avoid the (...)
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  • The Governance of Laws of Nature: Guidance and Production.Tobias Wilsch - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (3):909-933.
    Realists about laws of nature and their Humean opponents disagree on whether laws ‘govern’. An independent commitment to the ‘governing conception’ of laws pushes many towards the realist camp. Despite its significance, however, no satisfactory account of governance has been offered. The goal of this article is to develop such an account. I base my account on two claims. First, we should distinguish two notions of governance, ‘guidance’ and ‘production’, and secondly, explanatory phenomena other than laws are also candidates for (...)
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  • On the Lewisian Principle of Recombination and Quidditism.Karol Lenart - forthcoming - Acta Analytica:1-15.
    In this paper, I discuss a connection between quidditism and the Lewisian principle of recombination. I begin by reconstructing a typical characterisation of a Lewisian principle of recombination, followed by an explanation of quidditism. In the remainder, I argue that a proponent of a Lewisian principle of recombination cannot endorse quidditism without some important modifications of her view.
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  • Moderately Naturalistic Metaphysics.Matteo Morganti & Tuomas E. Tahko - 2017 - Synthese 194 (7):2557-2580.
    The present paper discusses different approaches to metaphysics and defends a specific, non-deflationary approach that nevertheless qualifies as scientifically-grounded and, consequently, as acceptable from the naturalistic viewpoint. By critically assessing some recent work on science and metaphysics, we argue that such a sophisticated form of naturalism, which preserves the autonomy of metaphysics as an a priori enterprise yet pays due attention to the indications coming from our best science, is not only workable but recommended.
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  • Persistence Egalitarianism.Irem Kurtsal - 2021 - Res Philosophica 98 (1):63-88.
    Modal Plenitude—the view that, for every empirically adequate modal profile, there is an object whose modal profile it is—is held to be consistent with each of endurantist and perdurantist views of persistence. Here I show that, because “endurer” and “perdurer” are two substantially different kinds of entity, compossible with each other and consistent with empirical data, Modal Plenitude actually entails a third view about persistence that I call “Persistence Egalitarianism.” In every non-empty spacetime region there are two persisting objects: one (...)
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  • Is Knowledge of Essence the Basis of Modal Knowledge?Albert Casullo - 2020 - Res Philosophica 97 (4):593-609.
    E. J. Lowe offers an account of modal knowledge that involves two primary theses. First, the basis of modal knowledge is essential knowledge, and the source of essential knowledge is grasp of essence. Second, all empirical knowledge ultimately depends on some modal knowledge. This article assesses Lowe’s account and defends four conclusions. First, there is a tension in Lowe’s account of grasp of essence; it wavers between an undemanding version, which holds that grasp of essence requires no more than our (...)
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  • The Structure of Essentialist Explanations of Necessity.Michael Wallner - 2020 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 9 (1):4-13.
    Fine, Lowe and Hale accept the view that necessity is to be explained by essences: Necessarily p iff, and because, there is some x whose essence ensures that p. Hale, however, believes that this strategy is not universally applicable; he argues that the necessity of essentialist truths cannot itself be explained by once again appealing to essentialist truths. As a consequence, Hale holds that there are basic necessities that cannot be explained. Thus, Hale style essentialism falls short of what Wilsch (...)
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  • Essence, Explanation, and Modality.Michael Wallner & Anand Vaidya - forthcoming - Philosophy:1-27.
    Recently, Kit Fine's view that modal truths are true in virtue of, grounded in, or explained by essentialist truths has been under attack. In what follows we offer two responses to the wave of criticism against his view. While the first response is pretty straightforward, the second is based on the distinction between, what we call, Reductive Finean Essentialism and Non-Reductive Finean Essentialism. Engaging the work of Bob Hale on Non-Reductive Finean Essentialism, we aim to show that the arguments against (...)
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  • Aristotle on Necessary Principles and on Explaining X Through X’s Essence.Lucas Angioni - 2014 - Studia Philosophica Estonica 7 (2):88-112.
    I discuss what Aristotle means when he say that scientific demonstration must proceed from necessary principles. I argue that, for Aristotle, scientific demonstration should not be reduced to sound deduction with necessary premises. Scientific demonstration ultimately depends on the fully appropriate explanatory factor for a given explanandum. This explanatory factor is what makes the explanandum what it is. Consequently, this factor is also unique. When Aristotle says that demonstration must proceed from necessary principles, he means that each demonstration requires the (...)
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  • From Nature to Grounding.Mark Jago - 2018 - In Ricki Leigh Bliss & Graham Priest (eds.), Reality and its Structure. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 199-216.
    Grounding is a powerful metaphysical concept; yet there is widespread scepticism about the intelligibility of the notion. In this paper, I propose an account of an entity’s nature or essence, which I then use to provide grounding conditions for that entity. I claim that an understanding of an entity’s nature, together with an account of how logically complex entities are grounded, provides all we need to understand how that entity is grounded. This approach not only allows us to say what (...)
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  • Dis-Positioning Euthyphro.Ben Page - 2018 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 84 (1):31-55.
    The Euthyphro objection is often perceived, rightly or wrongly, as the king objection to theistic meta-ethics. This paper proposes a response that hasn’t been much explored within the contemporary literature, based on the metaphysics of dispositions and natural law theory. The paper will first contend that there is a parallel between ways theists conceptualise God’s role in creating laws of nature and the ways God creates goods. Drawing upon these parallels I propose a possible response to the dilemma, where this (...)
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  • Each Thing Is Fundamental: Against Hylomorphism and Hierarchical Structure.M. Oreste Fiocco - 2019 - American Philosophical Quarterly 56 (3):289-301.
    Each thing is fundamental. Not only is no thing any more or less real than any other, but no thing is prior to another in any robust ontological sense. Thus, no thing can explain the very existence of another, nor account for how another is what it is. I reach this surprising conclusion by undermining two important positions in contemporary metaphysics: hylomorphism and hierarchical views employing so-called building relations, such as grounding. The paper has three main parts. First, I observe (...)
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  • 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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  • What Is a Thing?M. Oreste Fiocco - 2019 - Metaphilosophy 50 (5):649-669.
    ‘Thing’ in the titular question should be construed as having the utmost generality. In the relevant sense, a thing just is an entity, an existent, a being. The present task is to say what a thing of any category is. This task is, I believe, the primary one of any comprehensive and systematic metaphysics. Indeed, an answer provides the means for resolving perennial disputes concerning the integrity of the structure in reality—whether some of the relations among things are necessary merely (...)
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  • Understanding and Essence.Anand Jayprakash Vaidya - 2010 - Philosophia 38 (4):811-833.
    Modal epistemology has been dominated by a focus on establishing an account either of how we have modal knowledge or how we have justified beliefs about modality. One component of this focus has been that necessity and possibility are basic access points for modal reasoning. For example, knowing that P is necessary plays a role in deducing that P is essential, and knowing that both P and ¬P are possible plays a role in knowing that P is accidental. Chalmers (2002) (...)
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  • Lowe on Modal Knowledge.Joachim Horvath - 2014 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 3 (3):208-217.
    In recent work, E. J. Lowe presents an essence-based account of our knowledge of metaphysical modality that he claims to be superior to its main competitors. I argue that knowledge of essences alone, without knowledge of a suitable bridge principle, is insufficient for knowing that something is metaphysically necessary or metaphysically possible. Yet given Lowe's other theoretical commitments, he cannot account for our knowledge of the needed bridge principle, and so his essence-based modal epistemology remains incomplete. In addition to that, (...)
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  • Essence and Being: Scott A. Shalkowski.Scott A. Shalkowski - 2008 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 62:49-63.
    In ‘Two Notions of Being: Entity and Essence’ E. J. Lowe defends “serious essentialism”. Serious essentialism is the position that everything has an essence, essences are not themselves things, and essences are the ground for metaphysical necessity and possibility. Lowe's defence of serious essentialism is both metaphysical and epistemological. In what follows I use Lowe's discussion as a point of departure for, first, adding some considerations for the plausibility of essentialism and, second, some work on modal epistemology.
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  • God From God: The Essential Dependence Model of Eternal Generation.Mark Makin - 2018 - Religious Studies 54 (3):377-394.
    According to the doctrine of eternal generation, the Son is eternally begotten of the Father. Although the doctrine is enshrined in the Creed of Nicaea and has been affirmed by Christians for nearly 17,000 years, many Protestants have recently rejected the doctrine. Eternal generation, its detractors contend, is both philosophically and theologically suspect. In this article, I propose a model of eternal generation and demonstrate how it avoids standard philosophical and theological objections. Eternal generation, I argue, can be understood as (...)
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  • Belief, Correctness and Constitutivity.Davide Fassio - 2017 - European Journal of Philosophy 25 (4):1084-1106.
    Some philosophers have argued that a standard of correctness is constitutive of the concept or the essence of belief. By this claim they mean, roughly, that a mental state is a belief partially in virtue of being correct if and only if its content is true. In this paper I provide a new argument in support of the constitutivity of the correctness standard for belief. I first argue that the standard expresses a conceptual necessity. Then I argue that, since conceptual (...)
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  • Philosophical Analysis: The Concept Grounding View.Joachim Horvath - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 97 (3):724-750.
    Philosophical analysis was the central preoccupation of 20th-century analytic philosophy. In the contemporary methodological debate, however, it faces a number of pressing external and internal challenges. While external challenges, like those from experimental philosophy or semantic externalism, have been extensively discussed, internal challenges to philosophical analysis have received much less attention. One especially vexing internal challenge is that the success conditions of philosophical analysis are deeply unclear. According to the standard textbook view, a philosophical analysis aims at a strict biconditional (...)
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