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Reference and Essence

Journal of Symbolic Logic 49 (4):1417-1419 (1981)

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  1. On the Metaphysics of Species.Judith K. Crane - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 71 (2):156-173.
    This paper explains the metaphysical implications of the view that species are individuals (SAI). I first clarify SAI in light of the separate distinctions between individuals and classes, particulars and universals, and abstract and concrete things. I then show why the standard arguments given in defense of SAI are not compelling. Nonetheless, the ontological status of species is linked to the traditional "species problem," in that certain species concepts do entail that species are individuals. I develop the idea that species (...)
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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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  • 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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  • A Note on Science and Essentialism.Alice Eleanor 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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  • Supervenience, Reduction, and Infinite Disjunction.Nick Zangwill - 1995 - Philosophia 24 (3-4):321-30.
    Can a certain sort of property supervene on another sort of property without reducing to it? Many philosophers find the superveniencel irreducibility combination attractive in the philosophy of mind and in moral philosophy. They think that mental properties supervene upon physical properties but do not reduce to them, or that moral properties supervene upon natural properties without reducing to them. Other philosophers have tried to show that the combination is ultimately untenable, however attractive it might initially appear. Thus Ted Honderich (...)
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  • Problems of Context and Knowledge.Jacques Jayez - 1989 - Argumentation 3 (3):303-319.
    In spite of alleged differences in purpose, descriptive and computational linguistics share many problems, due to the fact that any precise study on language needs some form of knowledge representation. This constraint is mostly apparent when interpretation of sentences takes into account elements of the so-called “context”. The parametrization of context, i.e. the explicit listing of features relevant to some intepretation task, is difficult because it requires flexible formal structures for understanding or simulating inferential behaviour, as well as a large (...)
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  • Conceivability and De Re Modal Knowledge.Sonia Roca-Royes - 2011 - Noûs 45 (1):22-49.
    The paper presents a dilemma for both epistemic and non-epistemic versions of conceivability-based accounts of modal knowledge. On the one horn, non-epistemic accounts do not elucidate the essentialist knowledge they would be committed to. On the other, epistemic accounts do not elucidate everyday life de re modal knowledge. In neither case, therefore, do conceivability accounts elucidate de re modal knowledge.
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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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  • A Puzzle About Kinds.Teresa Robertson Ishii - 2018 - Philosophical Perspectives 32 (1):352-364.
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  • Names and Their Kind of Rigidity.Dolf Rami - 2019 - Erkenntnis 84 (2):257-282.
    In this paper, I will show that typical formal semantic reconstructions of the rigidity of proper names neglect the important aspect that the rigidity of names is determined by our ordinary use of a name relative to the actual world. This fact was clearly pointed out by Kripke, but overlooked by the subsequent discussion concerning this topic. Based on this diagnosis, I will distinguish three different actualized notions of rigidity. Firstly, I will introduce two different new varieties of known versions (...)
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  • Russell-Names: An Introduction to Millian Descriptivism.Stefano Predelli - 2016 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 45 (5):603-622.
    This essay studies the semantic properties of what I call Russell-names. Russell-names bear intimate semantic relations with descriptive conditions, in consonance with the main tenets of descriptivism. Yet, they are endowed with the semantic properties attributed to ordinary proper names by Millianism: they are rigid and non-indexical devices of direct reference. This is not an essay in natural language semantics, and remains deliberately neutral with respect to the question whether any among the expressions we ordinarily classify as proper names behave (...)
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  • Domains of Discourse.François Recanati - 1996 - Linguistics and Philosophy 19 (5):445 - 475.
    In the first part of this paper I present a defence of the Austinian semantic approach to incomplete quantifiers and similar phenomena (section 2-4). It is part of my defence of Austinian semantics that it incorporates a cognitive dimension (section 4). This cognitive dimension makes it possible to connect Austinian semantics to various cognitive theories of discourse interpretation. In the second part of the paper (sections 5-7), I establish connections between Austinian semantics and four particular theories: • the theory of (...)
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  • Soames’s Deflationism About Modality.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2013 - Erkenntnis 78 (6):1367-1379.
    One type of deflationism about metaphysical modality suggests that it can be analysed strictly in terms of linguistic or conceptual content and that there is nothing particularly metaphysical about modality. Scott Soames is explicitly opposed to this trend. However, a detailed study of Soames’s own account of modality reveals that it has striking similarities with the deflationary account. In this paper I will compare Soames’s account of a posteriori necessities concerning natural kinds with the deflationary one, specifically Alan Sidelle’s account, (...)
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  • Defining Global Supervenience.Alex Steinberg - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (2):367-380.
    What does it mean that certain properties globally supervene on others? The paper criticises the now standard way of spelling out the notion in terms of 1–1 correlations between world-domains and proposes a modification that escapes the difficulties. The new definition can secure the additional benefit of resisting an argument to the effect that global supervenience is theoretically dispensable.
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  • Does the New Route Reach its Destination?Teresa Robertson & Graeme Forbes - 2006 - Mind 115 (458):367-374.
    A New Route to the Necessity of Origin’, Guy Rohrbaugh and Louis deRossett argue for the Necessity of Origin in a way that they believe avoids use of any kind of transworld constitutional sufficiency principle. In this discussion, we respond that either their arguments do imply a sufficiency principle, or else they entirely fail to establish the Necessity of Origin.
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  • Is Indeterminate Identity Incoherent?Richard Heck - manuscript
    In "Counting and Indeterminate Identity", N. Ángel Pinillos develops an argument that there can be no cases of `Split Indeterminate Identity'. Such a case would be one in which it was indeterminate whether a=b and indeterminate whether a=c, but determinately true that b≠c. The interest of the argument lies, in part, in the fact that it appears to appeal to none of the controversial claims to which similar arguments due to Gareth Evans and Nathan Salmon appeal. I argue for two (...)
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  • Modal Rationalism and Constructive Realism: Models and Their Modality.William Kallfelz - 2010
    I present a case for a rapprochement between aspects of rationalism and scientific realism, by way of a general framework employing modal epistemology and elements of 2-dimensional semantics (2DS). My overall argument strategy is meta-inductive: The bulk of this paper establishes a “base case,” i.e., a concretely constructive example by which I demonstrate this linkage. The base case or constructive example acts as the exemplar for generating, in a constructively ‘bottom-up’ fashion, a more generally rigorous case for rationalism-realism qua modal (...)
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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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  • 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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  • Discussion Note: Definiteness and Proper Names: Some Bad News for the Description Theory.Abbott Barbara - 2002 - Journal of Semantics 19 (2):191-201.
    This paper addresses some data put forward by Geurts (1997) in support of his metalinguistic or quotation theory of proper names, according to which a name N means ‘the individual named N’. The data illustrate ten linguistic behaviours claimed to be shared by proper names and definite descriptions. I argue that in some cases the behaviours have a common explanation which is based on a property independent of Geurts' analysis, and that in the remaining cases the behaviours are not actually (...)
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  • Natural Kinds and Natural Kind Terms: Myth and Reality.Sören Häggqvist & Åsa Wikforss - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (4):911-933.
    The article examines the role of natural kinds in semantic theorizing, which has largely been conducted in isolation from relevant work in science, metaphysics, and philosophy of science. We argue that the Kripke–Putnam account of natural kind terms, despite recent claims to the contrary, depends on a certain metaphysics of natural kinds; that the metaphysics usually assumed—micro-essentialism—is untenable even in a ‘placeholder’ version; and that the currently popular homeostatic property cluster theory of natural kinds is correct only to an extent (...)
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  • One Dogma of Millianism.Derek Ball & Bryan Pickel - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (1):70-92.
    Millians about proper names typically claim that it is knowable apriori that Hesperus is Phosphorus. We argue that they should claim instead that it is knowable only aposteriori that Hesperus is Hesperus, since the Kripke-Putnam epistemic arguments against descriptivism are special cases of Quinean arguments that nothing is knowable apriori, and Millians have no resources to resist the more general Quinean arguments.
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  • Natural-Kind Term Reference and the Discovery of Essence.Joseph Francis Laporte - 1998 - Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Amherst
    According to a doctrine that has been popularized by Kripke and Putnam, a natural kind term like 'bird' rigidly designates the kind with the microstructure of sample birds. This microstructure is the essence of birdhood, so our learning what the relevant microstructure is our discovery of the kind's essence. We have discovered that some statement like 'The bird is the taxon with such and such DNA structure' is true. Further, it is commonly added, the discovered microstructure is essential to each (...)
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  • Identity and the Facts of the Matter.Graeme Forbes - 2010 - In Richard Dietz & Sebastiano Moruzzi (eds.), Cuts and Clouds: Vaguenesss, its Nature and its Logic. Oxford University Press.
     
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  • Names and Obstinate Rigidity.Brendan Murday - 2013 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 51 (2):224-242.
    Names are rigid designators, but what kind of rigidity do they exhibit? Both “obstinately” and “persistently” rigid designators pick out O at every world at which they pick out anything at all. They differ in that obstinately rigid designators also pick out O at worlds at which O fails to exist; persistently rigid designators have no extension whatsoever at worlds at which O fails to exist. The question whether names are obstinate or persistent arises in two contexts: in arguments against (...)
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  • The Metaphysics of Science and Aim-Oriented Empiricism: A Revolution for Science and Philosophy.Nicholas Maxwell - 2019 - Cham, Switzerland: Springer Nature.
    This book gives an account of work that I have done over a period of decades that sets out to solve two fundamental problems of philosophy: the mind-body problem and the problem of induction. Remarkably, these revolutionary contributions to philosophy turn out to have dramatic implications for a wide range of issues outside philosophy itself, most notably for the capacity of humanity to resolve current grave global problems and make progress towards a better, wiser world. A key element of the (...)
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  • All the Existences That There Are.Alberto Voltolini - 2012 - Disputatio 4 (32):361-383.
    In this paper, I will defend the claim that there are three existence properties: the second-order property of being instantiated, a substantive first-order property (or better a group of such properties) and a formal, hence universal, first-order property. I will first try to show what these properties are and why we need all of them for ontological purposes. Moreover, I will try to show why a Meinong-like option that positively endorses both the former and the latter first-order property is the (...)
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  • A Posteriori Physicalism and Introspection.Andreas Elpidorou - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (1):474-500.
    Introspection presents our phenomenal states in a manner otherwise than physical. This observation is often thought to amount to an argument against physicalism: if introspection presents phenomenal states as they essentially are, then phenomenal states cannot be physical states, for we are not introspectively aware of phenomenal states as physical states. In this article, I examine whether this argument threatens a posteriori physicalism. I argue that as along as proponents of a posteriori physicalism maintain that phenomenal concepts present the nature (...)
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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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  • Ficta as Contingently Nonconcrete.Lightfield Ceth - 2014 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 21 (4):431-457.
    Fictional realism allows direct reference theorists to provide a straightfor- ward analysis of the semantics of fictional discourse by admitting into their ontology a set of objects (ficta) that serve as the referents of fictional names. Ficta may be modeled using an axiomatic object theory, but actualist interpretations of the formalism have been the subject of recent objections. In this paper, I provide an interpretation of object theory’s formalism that is consistent with actualism and avoids these objections. Drawing on insights (...)
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  • How (Not) To Argue Against Vague Object.Ali Abasnezhad - 2016 - Metaphysica 17 (2).
    In a series of papers, Elizabeth Barnes and Robert Williams have developed a theory of metaphysical vagueness in which they argue for legitimacy of vague object and indeterminate identity. In his recent paper, Ken Akiba raises two objections against Barnes-Williams theory, concluding that it is ill-conceived and wrong-headed. In one objection, he argues that the theory implies indeterminate identity between referentially determinate objects to which λ-abstraction is applicable, and hence Evans’ argument ultimately goes through. In the other, he objects that (...)
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  • The Modal View of Essence.Sam Cowling - 2013 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 43 (2):248-266.
    According to the modal view, essence admits of reductive analysis in exclusively modal terms. Fine (1994) argues that modal view delivers an inadequate analysis of essence. This paper defends the modal view from Fine's challenge. This defense proceeds by examining the disagreement between Finean primitivists and Quinean eliminativists about essence. In order to model this disagreement, a distinction between essence and a separable concept, nature, is required. This distinction is then used to show that Fine's challenge is misdirected and therefore (...)
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  • Formalizations Après la Lettre: Studies in Medieval Logic and Semantics.Catarina Dutilh Novaes - 2006 - Dissertation, Leiden University
    This thesis is on the history and philosophy of logic and semantics. Logic can be described as the ‘science of reasoning’, as it deals primarily with correct patterns of reasoning. However, logic as a discipline has undergone dramatic changes in the last two centuries: while for ancient and medieval philosophers it belonged essentially to the realm of language studies, it has currently become a sub-branch of mathematics. This thesis attempts to establish a dialogue between the modern and the medieval traditions (...)
     
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  • Sex, Gender, and Essence.John Dupré - 1986 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 11 (1):441-457.
  • Part-Time Objects.Paolo Dau - 1986 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 11 (1):459-474.
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  • Modal Paradox: Parts and Counterparts, Points and Counterpoints.Nathan Salmon - 1986 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 11 (1):75-120.
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  • Counterparts and Identity.Robert Stalnaker - 1986 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 11 (1):121--40.
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  • Counterparts and Identity.Robert Stalnaker - 1986 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 11 (1):121-140.
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  • Support for Individual Concepts.Barbara Abbott - 2011 - Linguistic and Philosophical Investigations 10:23-44.
  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Rigidity, General Terms, and Trivialization.Dan López De Sa - 2007 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 107 (1pt1):117-123.
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  • An a Posteriori Conception of Analyticity?Åsa Maria Wikforss - 2003 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 66 (1):119-139.
    At the time that Quine wrote "Two Dogmas" an attack on analyticity was considered a simultaneous attack on the very idea of necessary truth. This all changed with Kripke's revival of a non-epistemic, non-linguistic notion of necessity. My paper discusses the question whether we can take Kripke one step further and free analyticity from its epistemic ties, thereby reinstating a notion of analyticity that is immune to Quine's attack, and compatible with his epistemic holism. I discuss this question by examining (...)
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  • Type-Ambiguous Names.Anders J. Schoubye - 2017 - Mind 126 (503):715-767.
    The orthodox view of proper names, Millianism, provides a very simple and elegant explanation of the semantic contribution of referential uses of names–names that occur as bare singulars and as the argument of a predicate. However, one problem for Millianism is that it cannot explain the semantic contribution of predicative uses of names. In recent years, an alternative view, so-called the-predicativism, has become increasingly popular. According to the-predicativists, names are uniformly count nouns. This straightforwardly explains why names can be used (...)
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  • Semantic Norms and Temporal Externalism.Henry Jackman - 1996 - Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh
    There has frequently been taken to be a tension, if not an incompatibility, between "externalist" theories of content (which allow the make-up of one's physical environment and the linguistic usage of one's community to contribute to the contents of one's thoughts and utterances) and the "methodologically individualist" intuition that whatever contributes to the content of one's thoughts and utterances must ultimately be grounded in facts about one's own attitudes and behavior. In this dissertation I argue that one can underwrite such (...)
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  • Locke's Theory of Classification.Judith Crane - 2003 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 11 (2):249 – 259.
    Locke is often cited as a precursor to contemporary natural kind realism. However, careful attention to Locke’s arguments show that he was unequivocally a conventionalist about natural kinds. To the extent that contemporary natural kind realists see themselves as following Locke, they misunderstand what he was trying to do. Locke argues that natural kinds require either dubious metaphysical commitments (e.g., to substantial forms or universals), or a question-begging version of essentialism. Contemporary natural kind realists face a similar dilemma, and should (...)
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  • Many Many Problems.Brian Weatherson - 2003 - Philosophical Quarterly 53 (213):481–501.
    Recently four different papers have suggested that the supervaluational solution to the Problem of the Many is flawed. Stephen Schiffer (1998, 2000a, 2000b) has argued that the theory cannot account for reports of speech involving vague singular terms. Vann McGee and Brian McLaughlin (2000) say that theory cannot, yet, account for vague singular beliefs. Neil McKinnon (2002) has argued that we cannot provide a plausible theory of when precisifications are acceptable, which the supervaluational theory needs. And Roy Sorensen (2000) argues (...)
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  • The Menard Case and the Identity of a Literary Work of Art.Tomas Hribek - 2013 - In Tomas Koblizek, Petr Kot'átko & Martin Pokorný (eds.), Text + Work: The Menard Case. Praha, Česko: pp. 6-34.
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  • Heidegger's Logico-Semantic Strikeback.Alberto Voltolini - 2015 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 22:19-38.
    In (1959), Carnap famously attacked Heidegger for having constructed an insane metaphysics based on a misconception of both the logical form and the semantics of ordinary language. In what follows, it will be argued that, once one appropriately (i.e., in a Russellian fashion) reads Heidegger’s famous sentence that should paradigmatically exemplify such a misconception, i.e., “the nothing nothings”, there is nothing either logically or semantically wrong with it. The real controversy as to how that sentence has to be evaluated—not as (...)
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