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Reference and Essence

Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press (1981)

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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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  • Vague Objects and Vague Identity: New Essays on Ontic Vagueness.K. Akiba (ed.) - 2014 - Dordrecht, Netherland: Springer.
    This unique anthology of new, contributed essays offers a range of perspectives on various aspects of ontic vagueness. It seeks to answer core questions pertaining to onticism, the view that vagueness exists in the world itself. The questions to be addressed include whether vague objects must have vague identity, and whether ontic vagueness has a distinctive logic, one that is not shared by semantic or epistemic vagueness. The essays in this volume explain the motivations behind onticism, such as the plausibility (...)
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  • A Note on Science and Essentialism.Alice Drewery - 2004 - Theoria 19 (3):311-320.
    This paper discusses recent attempts to use essentialist arguments based on the work of Kripke and Putnam to ground causal necessity in the world. I argue in particular that arecent argument by Alexander Bird relies on controversial intuitions about the natures of substances which no Humean would accept. While a case can be made that essentialism reflects some assumptions within scientific practice, the same can be said of Humeanism; ultimately neither Bird’s arguments, nor any empirical facts, can decide the question (...)
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  • God, Mind and Logical Space: A Revisionary Approach to Divinity.István Aranyosi - 2013 - London, England: Palgrave-Macmillan.
    In God, Mind and Logical Space István Aranyosi takes the reader on a journey for the mind by revisiting the fundamental questions and the everlasting debates in philosophy of religion, ontology, and the philosophy of mind. The first part deals with issues in ontology, and the author puts forward a radical view according to which all thinkable objects and states of affairs have an equal claim to existence in a way that renders existence a relative notion. In the second part (...)
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  • Spacetime and Mereology.Andrew Virel Wake - 2011 - Erkenntnis 74 (1):17-35.
    Unrestricted Composition (UC) is, roughly, the claim that given any objects at all, there is something which those objects compose. (UC) conflicts in an obvious way with common sense. It has as a consequence, for instance, that there is something which has as parts my nose and the moon. One of the more influential arguments for (UC) is Theodore Sider’s version of the Argument from Vagueness. (A version of the Argument from Vagueness was first presented by David Lewis (1986), pp. (...)
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  • Truth in Fiction.Franck Lihoreau (ed.) - 2011 - Ontos Verlag.
    The essays collected in this volume are all concerned with the connection between fiction and truth. This question is of utmost importance to metaphysics, philosophy of language, philosophical logic and epistemology, raising in each of these areas and at their intersections a large number of issues related to creation, existence, reference, identity, modality, belief, assertion, imagination, pretense, etc. All these topics and many more are addressed in this collection, which brings together original essays written from various points of view by (...)
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  • Formalizing Medieval Logical Theories: Suppositio, Consequentiae and Obligationes.Catarina Dutilh Novaes - 2007 - Dordrecht, Netherland: Springer.
    This book presents novel formalizations of three of the most important medieval logical theories: supposition, consequence and obligations. In an additional fourth part, an in-depth analysis of the concept of formalization is presented - a crucial concept in the current logical panorama, which as such receives surprisingly little attention.Although formalizations of medieval logical theories have been proposed earlier in the literature, the formalizations presented here are all based on innovative vantage points: supposition theories as algorithmic hermeneutics, theories of consequence analyzed (...)
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  • Originalism About Word Types.Luca Gasparri - 2016 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 5 (2):126-133.
    According to Originalism, word types are non-eternal continuants which are individuated by their causal-historical lineage and have a unique possible time of origination. This view collides with the intuition that individual words can be added to the lexicon of a language at different times, and generates other problematic consequences. The paper shows that such undesired results can be accommodated without abandoning Originalism.
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  • Indeterminate Comprehension.Jonathan A. Simon - 2014 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 3 (1):39-48.
    Can we solve the Problem of the Many, and give a general account of the indeterminacy in definite descriptions that give rise to it, by appealing to metaphysically indeterminate entities? I argue that we cannot. I identify a feature common to the relevant class of definite descriptions, and derive a contradiction from the claim that each such description is satisfied by a metaphysically indeterminate entity.
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  • Why Sense Cannot Be Made of Vague Identity.Nicholas J. J. Smith - 2008 - Noûs 42 (1):1–16.
    In this paper I present a new argument against vague identity — one that is more fundamental than existing arguments — and I also try to explain why we find the idea of vague identity puzzling, in a way that will dispel the puzzlement. In brief, my argument is this: to make clear sense of something, one must at least model it set-theoretically; but due to the special place of identity in set-theoretic models, any vague relation that one does model (...)
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  • A New Argument Against the Existence Requirement.Takashi Yagisawa - 2005 - Analysis 65 (1):39–42.
    It may appear that in order to be any way at all, a thing must exist. A possible – worlds version of this claim goes as follows: (E) For every x, for every possible world w, Fx at w only if x exists at w. Here and later in (R), the letter ‘F’ is used as a schematic letter to be replaced with a one – place predicate. There are two arguments against (E). The first is by analogy. Socrates is (...)
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  • Wittgenstein on the Substance of the World.Ian Proops - 2004 - European Journal of Philosophy 12 (1):106–126.
    The *Tractatus* contains an argument that there are simple, necessarily existent objects, which, being simple, are suited to be the referents of the names occuring in the final analysis of propositions. The argument is perplexing in its own right, but also for its invocation of the notion of "substance". I argue that if one locates Wittgenstein's conception of substance in the Kantian tradition to which his talk of "substance" alludes, what emerges is an argument that is very nearly--but not quite--cogent.
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  • Language and Metaphysics: The Case of Theoretical Identities.Luis Fernández Moreno - 2017 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 3):831-848.
    Kripke holds the thesis that identity statements containing natural kind terms are if true, necessarily true; these statements can be denominated theoretical identities. Kripke alleges that the necessity of theoretical identities grounds on the linguistic feature that natural kind terms are rigid designators. Nevertheless, I argue that the conception of natural kind terms as rigid designators, in one of their most natural views, hinders the establishment of the truth of theoretical identities and thus of their necessity. However, in Kripke’s works (...)
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  • Definite Descriptions and Semantic Pluralism.Brendan Murday - 2014 - Philosophical Papers 43 (2):255-284.
    We pose two arguments for the view that sentences containing definite descriptions semantically express multiple propositions: a general proposition as Russell suggested, and a singular proposition featuring the individual who uniquely satisfies the description at the world-time of utterance. One argument mirrors David Kaplan's arguments that indexicals express singular propositions through a context-sensitive character. The second argument mirrors Kent Bach's and Stephen Neale's arguments for pluralist views about terms putatively triggering conventional implicatures, appositive, and nonrestrictive relative clauses. After presenting these (...)
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  • In Defense of Obstinacy.Joao Branquinho - 2003 - Philosophical Perspectives 17 (1):1–23.
    The aim of this paper is to make the case for the obstinacy thesis. This is the thesis that proper names like ‘Hitler’, demonstratives like ‘this’, pure indexicals like ‘I’, and natural kind terms like ‘water’ and ‘gold’, are obstinately rigid terms. An obstinately rigid term is one that refers to the object that is its actual referent with respect to every possible world (hence, a fortiori, even with respect to worlds where that object does not exist). This form of (...)
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  • Death by Redescription.Henry Pollock - forthcoming - Philosophia:1-20.
    It is intuitive to suppose that the question of whether I persist through a given period will always have a metaphysically substantive ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. Derek Parfit challenges this intuition. Given the truth of Reductionism, he argues, identity can be indeterminate. The main argument Parfit marshals in support of this claim employs his Sorites-style Combined Spectrum thought experiment. Despite its influence, there are conspicuous gaps in his argument. Notably, he claims that identity is indeterminate when questions about persistence are (...)
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  • How Might I Have Been?Rachel Cooper - 2015 - Metaphilosophy 46 (4-5):495-514.
    What would my life have been like if I had been born more intelligent? Or taller? Or a member of the opposite sex? Or a non-biological being? It is plausible that some of these questions make sense, while others stretch the limits of sense making. In addressing questions of how I might have been, genetic essentialism is popular, but this article argues that genetic essentialism, and other versions of origin essentialism for organisms, must be rejected. It considers the prospects for (...)
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  • Kaplan Rigidity, Time, and Modality.Gilbert Plumer - 1988 - Logique Et Analyse 31 (123-124):329-335.
    Joseph Almog says concerning “a certain locus where Quine doesn’t exist…qua evaluation locus, we take to it [singular] propositions involving Quine [as a constituent] which we have generated in our generation locus.” This seems to be either murder, or worse, self-contradiction. It presumes that certain designators designate their designata even at loci where the designata do not exist, i.e., the designators have “Kaplan rigidity.” Against this view, this paper argues that negative existentials such as “Quine does not exist” are true (...)
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  • Truthmaking for Modal Skeptics.Jamin Asay - 2013 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 2 (4):303-312.
    Standard truthmaker theory has generally assumed a realist account of de re modality and essences. But there are reasons to be skeptical about such a view, and for considering antirealist alternatives. Can truthmaker theory survive in the face of such skepticism? I argue that it can, but that only certain antirealist perspectives on de re modality are acceptable for truthmaker theory. In particular, either a quasi-realist or conventionalist account of de re modality is needed to provide the best account of (...)
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  • Rigid Designators.Joseph LaPorte - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Sortals.Richard E. Grandy - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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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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  • The Importance of Being Ernesto: Reference, Truth and Logical Form.A. Bianchi, V. Morato & G. Spolaore (eds.) - 2016 - Padova: Padova University Press.
  • All Things Must Pass Away.Joshua Spencer - 2012 - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 7:67.
    Are there any things that are such that any things whatsoever are among them. I argue that there are not. My thesis follows from these three premises: (1) There are two or more things; (2) for any things, there is a unique thing that corresponds to those things; (3) for any two or more things, there are fewer of them than there are pluralities of them.
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  • Relativized Metaphysical Modality.Adam Murray & Jessica M. Wilson - 2012 - In Karen Bennett & Dean Zimmerman (eds.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics. Oxford University Press. pp. 189.
    It is commonly supposed that metaphysical modal claims are to be evaluated with respect to a single domain of possible worlds: a claim is metaphysically necessary just in case it is true in every possible world, and metaphysically possible just in case it is true in some possible world. We argue that the standard understanding is incorrect; rather, whether a given claim is metaphysically necessary or possible is relative to which world is indicatively actual. We motivate our view by attention (...)
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  • Conventionalism and the Contingency of Conventions.Alan Sidelle - 2009 - Noûs 43 (2):224-241.
    One common objection to Conventionalism about modality is that since it is contingent what our conventions are, the modal facts themselves will thereby be contingent. A standard reply is that Conventionalists can accept this, if they reject the S4 axiom, that what is possibly possible is possible. I first argue that this reply is inadequate, but then continue to argue that it is not needed, because the Conventionalist need not concede that the contingency of our conventions has any bearing on (...)
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  • Recent Defenses of Descriptivism.Anthony Everett - 2005 - Mind and Language 20 (1):103-139.
    : David Sosa, Michael Nelson, and Jason Stanley have recently offered a series of interesting and provocative challenges to Kripke's modal arguments against Descriptivism. In this paper I explore these challenges and some of the issues to which they give rise. I argue that, in the end, all three challenges fail.
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  • Vague Objects and Vague Identity: New Essays on Ontic Vagueness.Ken Akiba & Ali Abasnezhad (eds.) - 2014 - Dordrecht, Netherland: Springer.
    This unique anthology of new, contributed essays offers a range of perspectives on various aspects of ontic vagueness. It seeks to answer core questions pertaining to onticism, the view that vagueness exists in the world itself. The questions to be addressed include whether vague objects must have vague identity, and whether ontic vagueness has a distinctive logic, one that is not shared by semantic or epistemic vagueness. The essays in this volume explain the motivations behind onticism, such as the plausibility (...)
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  • Mustn't Whatever is Referred to Exist?Gilbert Plumer - 1989 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 27 (4):511-528.
    Some hold that proper names and indexicals are “Kaplan rigid”: they designate their designata even in worlds where the designata don’t exist. An argument they give for this is based on the analogy between time and modality. It is shown how this argument gains forcefulness at the expense of carefulness. Then the argument is criticized as forming a part of an inconsistent philosophical framework, the one with which David Kaplan and others operate. An alternative account of a certain class of (...)
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  • Modal Science.Timothy Williamson - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (4-5):453-492.
    This paper explains and defends the idea that metaphysical necessity is the strongest kind of objective necessity. Plausible closure conditions on the family of objective modalities are shown to entail that the logic of metaphysical necessity is S5. Evidence is provided that some objective modalities are studied in the natural sciences. In particular, the modal assumptions implicit in physical applications of dynamical systems theory are made explicit by using such systems to define models of a modal temporal logic. Those assumptions (...)
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  • The Epistemology of Modality.Margot Strohminger & Juhani Yli-Vakkuri - 2017 - Analysis 77 (4):825-838.
  • Philosophy of Language in the Twentieth Century.Jason Stanley - 2008 - In Dermot Moran (ed.), The Routledge Companion to Twentieth Century Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 382-437.
    In the Twentieth Century, Logic and Philosophy of Language are two of the few areas of philosophy in which philosophers made indisputable progress. For example, even now many of the foremost living ethicists present their theories as somewhat more explicit versions of the ideas of Kant, Mill, or Aristotle. In contrast, it would be patently absurd for a contemporary philosopher of language or logician to think of herself as working in the shadow of any figure who died before the Twentieth (...)
     
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  • Two Notions of Metaphysical Modality.Antonella Mallozzi - 2018 - Synthese (Suppl 6):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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  • Evolutionary Debunking Arguments in Ethics.Andreas Lech Mogensen - 2014 - Dissertation, University of Oxford
    I consider whether evolutionary explanations can debunk our moral beliefs. Most contemporary discussion in this area is centred on the question of whether debunking implications follow from our ability to explain elements of human morality in terms of natural selection, given that there has been no selection for true moral beliefs. By considering the most prominent arguments in the literature today, I offer reasons to think that debunking arguments of this kind fail. However, I argue that a successful evolutionary debunking (...)
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  • Close Enough to Reference.David B. Martens - 1993 - Synthese 95 (3):357 - 377.
    This paper proposes a response to the duplication objection to the descriptive theory of singular mental reference. This objection involves hypothetical cases in each of which there are a pair of qualitatively indistinguishable objects and a thought that apparently refers to only one of the pair, despite the descriptive indistinguishability of the two objects. I identify a concept of reference-likeness or closeness to reference, which is related to the concept of genuine singular reference as the concept of truthlikeness or closeness (...)
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  • Names and Natural Kind Terms.David Braun - 2006 - In Ernest Lepore & Barry C. Smith (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Language. Oxford University Press. pp. 490--515.
    Names and natural kind terms have long been a major focus of debates about meaning and reference. This article discusses some of the theories and arguments that have appeared in those debates. It is remarkably difficult to say what names are without making controversial theoretical assumptions. This article does not attempt to do so here. It instead relies on paradigm examples that nearly all theorists would agree are proper names, for instance, ‘Aristotle’, ‘Mark Twain’, ‘London’, ‘Venus’, and ‘Pegasus’. All of (...)
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  • Complex Demonstratives and Their Singular Contents.David Braun - 2008 - Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (1):57-99.
    This paper presents a semantic and pragmatic theory of complex demonstratives. According to this theory, the semantic content of a complex demonstrative, in a context, is simply an object, and the semantic content of a sentence that contains a complex demonstrative, in a context, is a singular proposition. This theory is defended from various objections to direct reference theories of complex demonstratives, including King's objection from quantification into complex demonstratives.
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  • Fiction and Indeterminate Identity.David Friedell - 2020 - Analysis 80 (2):221-229.
    In ‘Against fictional realism’ Anthony Everett argues that fictional realism leads to indeterminate identity. He concludes that we should reject fictional realism. Everett’s paper and much of the ensuing literature does not discuss what exactly fictional characters are. This is a mistake. I argue that some versions of abstract creationism about fictional characters lead to indeterminate identity, and that some versions of Platonism about fictional characters lead only to indeterminate reference. In doing so I show that Everett’s argument poses a (...)
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  • Problems for a Quantificational Theory of Complex Demonstratives.David Braun - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 140 (3):335 - 358.
    This paper presents a number of objections to Jeffrey King's quantificational theory of complex demonstratives. Some of these objections have to do with modality, whereas others concern attitude ascriptions. Various possible replies are considered. The debate between quantificational theorists and direct reference theorists over complex demonstratives is compared with recent debates concerning definite descriptions.
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  • Persisting Problems for a Quantificational Theory of Complex Demonstratives.David Braun - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 141 (2):243-262.
    I criticized Jeffrey King’s theory of complex demonstratives in “Problems for a Quantificational Theory of Complex Demonstratives.” King replied in “Complex Demonstratives as Quantifiers: Objections and Replies.” I here comment on some of King’s replies.
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  • Russell–Myhill and Grounding.Boris Kment - 2022 - Analysis 82 (1):49-60.
    The Russell-Myhill paradox puts pressure on the Russellian structured view of propositions by showing that it conflicts with certain prima facie attractive ontological and logical principles. I describe several versions of RMP and argue that structurists can appeal to natural assumptions about metaphysical grounding to provide independent reasons for rejecting the ontological principles used in these paradoxes. It remains a task for future work to extend this grounding-based approach to all variants of RMP.
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  • General-Term Rigidity is Meaning Constancy.Fredrik Haraldsen - 2022 - Analysis 82 (1):41-49.
    It is often thought that some general terms or kind terms, in particular natural kind terms, are rigid designators, and that a properly extended notion of singular-term rigidity can help explain the behaviour of such general terms. In this article, I argue that the only legitimate notion of general-term rigidity is a trivial one and identify some crucial asymmetries between a posteriori necessary truths involving names and a posteriori necessary truths involving general terms. If we pay attention to these asymmetries, (...)
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  • Is the Macro Grounded in the Micro?Martin Glazier - forthcoming - Philosophical Quarterly.
    Let a priority micro pluralist be someone who holds that particles or other microscopic objects are fundamental. Rivals to priority micro pluralism include priority monism as well as the Aristotelian view that some ordinary macroscopic objects are fundamental. Although priority micro pluralism is popular, I show that it encounters great difficulty in even the most straightforward cases. For example, this tennis ball is spherical; how is this fact to be grounded in facts about the microscopic realm? I consider a number (...)
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  • No Identity Without an Entity.Luke Manning - 2015 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 96 (1):279-305.
    Peter Geach's puzzle of intentional identity is to explain how the claim ‘Hob thinks a witch has blighted Bob's mare, and Nob wonders whether she killed Cob's sow’ is compatible with there being no such witch. I clarify the puzzle and reduce it to the familiar problem of negative existentials. That problem is a paradox of representations that seem to include denials of commitment , to carry commitment to what they deny commitment to, and to be true. The best proposed (...)
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  • Natural Kinds of Substance.Stephen Law - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (2):283-300.
    This paper presents an extension of Putnam's account of how substance terms such as ‘water’ and ‘gold’ function and of how a posteriori necessary truths concerning the underlying microstructures of such kinds may be derived. The paper has three aims. I aim to refute a familiar criticism of Putnam's account: that it presupposes what Salmon calls an ‘irredeemably metaphysical, and philosophically controversial, theory of essentialism’. I show how all of the details of Putnam's account—including those that Salmon believes smuggle in (...)
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  • In Defence of Hybrid Contingentism.Lukas Skiba - 2022 - Philosophers' Imprint 22 (4):1-30.
    Hybrid contingentism combines first-order contingentism, the view that it is contingent what individuals there are, with higher-order necessitism, the view that it is non-contingent what properties and propositions there are (where these are conceived as entities in the range of appropriate higher-order quantifiers). This combination of views avoids the most delicate problems afflicting alternative contingentist positions while preserving the central contingentist claim that ordinary, concrete entities exist contingently. Despite these attractive features, hybrid contingentism is usually faced with rejection. The main (...)
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  • Essentialist arguments against descriptivism.Michael McGlone - 2010 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 91 (4):443-462.
    This paper considers Kripke's (1972, 1980) modal arguments against descriptivism about proper names, the descriptivist reply that the meaning of a name is given by a description involving the modifier ‘actually’, and Kit Fine's (1994) distinction between necessary and essential attributes. It explains how Kripke's modal arguments can be recast in essentialist terms by appealing to Fine's distinction, and it argues that the resulting essentialist arguments are immune to the abovementioned descriptivist reply to the original modal arguments.
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  • To Think is to Have Something in One’s Thought.Alberto Voltolini & Elisabetta Sacchi - 2012 - Quaestio 12:395-422.
    Along with a well-honoured tradition, we will accept that intentionality is at least a property a thought holds necessarily, i.e., in all possible worlds that contain it; more specifically, a necessary relation, namely the relation of existential dependence of the thought on its intentional object. Yet we will first of all try to show that intentionality is more than that. For we will claim that intentionality is an essential property of the thought, namely a property whose predication to the thought (...)
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  • Descriptivist Reference From Metaphysical Essence.Nigel Sabbarton-Leary - 2010 - Dialectica 64 (3):419-433.
    Scott Soames (2002) has recently developed and defended strategies for (i) accounting for the meaning of Millian terms, and (ii) extending Kripke's insights from proper names to natural kind terms. In this paper I argue that if we accept these strategies, and their implausible assumptions and consequences, then we can present a novel defence of descriptivism for at least some natural kind terms – those for substances – on that basis. The conclusion, then, will be that there is just no (...)
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  • Indeterminism and Indeterminacy.K. Hawley - 1998 - Analysis 58 (2):101-106.
    E.J. Lowe claims that quantum physics provides examples of ontic indeterminacy, of vagueness in the world. Any such claim must confront the Evans-Salmon argument to the effect that the notion of ontic indeterminacy is simply incoherent (Evans 1978, Salmon 1981: 243-46). Lowe argues that a standard version of the Evans-Salmon argument fails quite generally (Lowe 1994). Harold Noonan (1995) has outlined a non-standard version of the argument, but Lowe argues that this non-standard version fails for specifically quantum mechanical reasons (Lowe (...)
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