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  1. No Simples, No Gunk, No Nothing.Sam Cowling - 2014 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 95 (1):246-260.
    Mereological realism holds that the world has a mereological structure – i.e. a distribution of mereological properties and relations. In this article, I defend Eleaticism about properties, according to which there are no causally inert non-logical properties. I then present an Eleatic argument for mereological anti-realism, which denies the existence of both mereological composites and mereological simples. After defending Eleaticism and mereological anti-realism, I argue that mereological anti-realism is preferable to mereological nihilism. I then conclude by examining the thesis that (...)
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  • Doing Ontology and Doing Justice: What Feminist Philosophy Can Teach Us About Meta-Metaphysics.Mari Mikkola - 2015 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 58 (7-8):780-805.
    Feminist philosophy has recently become recognised as a self-standing philosophical sub-discipline. Still, metaphysics has remained largely dismissive of feminist insights. Here I make the case for the value of feminist insights in metaphysics: taking them seriously makes a difference to our ontological theory choice and feminist philosophy can provide helpful methodological tools to regiment ontological theories. My examination goes as follows. Contemporary ontology is not done via conceptual analysis, but via quasi-scientific means. This takes different ontological positions to be competing (...)
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  • Towards a Neo‐Aristotelian Mereology.Kathrin Koslicki - 2007 - Dialectica 61 (1):127-159.
    This paper provides a detailed examination of Kit Fine’s sizeable contribution to the development of a neo‐Aristotelian alternative to standard mereology; I focus especially on the theory of ‘rigid’ and ‘variable embodiments’, as defended in Fine 1999. Section 2 briefly describes the system I call ‘standard mereology’. Section 3 lays out some of the main principles and consequences of Aristotle’s own mereology, in order to be able to compare Fine’s system with its historical precursor. Section 4 gives an exposition of (...)
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  • Toward a Commonsense Answer to the Special Composition Question.Chad Carmichael - 2015 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (3):475-490.
    The special composition question is the question, ‘When do some things compose something?’ The answers to this question in the literature have largely been at odds with common sense, either by allowing that any two things compose something, or by denying the existence of most ordinary composite objects. I propose a new ‘series-style’ answer to the special composition question that accords much more closely with common sense, and I defend this answer from van Inwagen's objections. Specifically, I will argue that (...)
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  • Vague Composition Without Vague Existence.Chad Carmichael - 2011 - Noûs 45 (2):315-327.
    David Lewis (1986) criticizes moderate views of composition on the grounds that a restriction on composition must be vague, and vague composition leads, via a precisificational theory of vagueness, to an absurd vagueness of existence. I show how to resist this argument. Unlike the usual resistance, however, I do not jettison precisificational views of vagueness. Instead, I blur the connection between composition and existence that Lewis assumes. On the resulting view, in troublesome cases of vague composition, there is an object, (...)
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  • What Do the Folk Think About Composition and Does It Matter?Daniel Z. Korman & Chad Carmichael - 2017 - In David Rose (ed.), Experimental Metaphysics. London: Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 187-206.
    Rose and Schaffer (forthcoming) argue that teleological thinking has a substantial influence on folk intuitions about composition. They take this to show (i) that we should not rely on folk intuitions about composition and (ii) that we therefore should not reject theories of composition on the basis of intuitions about composition. We cast doubt on the teleological interpretation of folk judgments about composition; we show how their debunking argument can be resisted, even on the assumption that folk intuitions have a (...)
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  • No Universalism Without Gunk? Composition as Identity and the Universality of Identity.Manuel Lechthaler - forthcoming - Synthese:1-12.
    Philosophers disagree whether composition as identity entails mereological universalism. Bricker :264–294, 2016) has recently considered an argument which concludes that composition as identity supports universalism. The key step in this argument is the thesis that any objects are identical to some object, which Bricker justifies with the principle of the universality of identity. I will spell out this principle in more detail and argue that it has an unexpected consequence. If the universality of identity holds, then composition as identity not (...)
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  • Composition is Identity and Mereological Nihilism.Claudio Calosi - 2016 - Philosophical Quarterly 66 (263):219-235.
    Composition is Identity is the thesis that a whole is, strict and literally, its parts considered collectively. Mereological Nihilism is the thesis that there are no composite objects whatsoever instead. This paper argues that they are equivalent, at least insofar as Composition is Identity is phrased in a particular way. It then addresses some consequences of such equivalence.
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  • Composition as Identity Doesn’T Settle the Special Composition Question.Ross P. Cameron - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 84 (3):531-554.
    Orthodoxy says that the thesis that composition is identity (CAI) entails universalism: the claim that any collection of entities has a sum. If this is true it counts in favour of CAI, since a thesis about the nature of composition that settles the otherwise intractable special composition question (SCQ) is desirable. But I argue that it is false: CAI is compatible with the many forms of restricted composition, and SCQ is no easier to answer given CAI than otherwise. Furthermore, in (...)
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  • Ideological Parsimony.Sam Cowling - 2013 - Synthese 190 (17):3889-3908.
    The theoretical virtue of parsimony values the minimizing of theoretical commitments, but theoretical commitments come in two kinds : ontological and ideological. While the ontological commitments of a theory are the entities it posits, a theory’s ideological commitments are the primitive concepts it employs. Here, I show how we can extend the distinction between quantitative and qualitative parsimony, commonly drawn regarding ontological commitments, to the domain of ideological commitments. I then argue that qualitative ideological parsimony is a theoretical virtue. My (...)
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  • How to Unify.Nicholas K. Jones - 2018 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 5.
    This paper evaluates the argument for the contradictoriness of unity, that be- gins Priest’s recent book One. The argument is seen to fail because it does not adequately differentiate between different forms of unity. This diagnosis of the argument’s failure is used as a basis for two consistent accounts of unity. The paper concludes by arguing that reality contains two absolutely fundamental and unanalysable forms of unity, which are in principle presupposed by any theory of anything. These fundamental forms of (...)
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  • Seeing the Forest and the Trees: Realism About Communities and Ecosystems.Jay Odenbaugh - 2007 - Philosophy of Science 74 (5):628-641.
    In this essay I first provide an analysis of various community concepts. Second, I evaluate two of the most serious challenges to the existence of communities—gradient and paleoecological analysis respectively—arguing that, properly understood, neither threatens the existence of communities construed interactively. Finally, I apply the same interactive approach to ecosystem ecology, arguing that ecosystems may exist robustly as well. ‡I would like to thank to the participants at the Ecology and Environmental Ethics Conference at the University of Utah, the Philosophy (...)
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  • The Controversy Over the Existence of Ordinary Objects.Amie L. Thomasson - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (7):591-601.
    The basic philosophical controversy regarding ordinary objects is: Do tables and chairs, sticks and stones, exist? This paper aims to do two things: first, to explain why how this can be a controversy at all, and second, to explain why this controversy has arisen so late in the history of philosophy. Section 1 begins by discussing why the 'obvious' sensory evidence in favor of ordinary objects is not taken to be decisive. It goes on to review the standard arguments against (...)
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  • Conciliatory Metaontology and the Vindication of Common Sense.Matthew McGrath - 2008 - Noûs 42 (3):482-508.
    This paper is a critical response to Eli Hirsch’s recent work in metaontology. Hirsch argues that several prominent ontological disputes about physical objects are verbal, a conclusion he takes to vindicate common sense ontology. In my response, I focus on the debate over composition (van Inwagen’s special composition question). I argue that given Hirsch’s own criterion for a dispute’s being verbal – a dispute is verbal iff charity requires each side to interpret the other sides as speaking the truth in (...)
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  • On the Phenomenon of "Dog-Wise Arrangement".Crawford L. Elder - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (1):132–155.
    An influential line of thought in metaphysics holds that where common sense discerns a tree or a dog or a baseball there may be just many microparticles. Provided the microparticles are arranged in the right way -- are “treewise” or “dogwise” or “baseballwise” arranged -- our sensory experiences will be just the same as if a tree or dog or baseball were really there. Therefore whether there really are suchfamiliar objects in the world can be decided only by determining what (...)
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  • Coincidence and Modal Predicates.P. Mackie - 2007 - Analysis 67 (1):21-31.
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  • Two Defenses of Common-Sense Ontology.Uriah Kriegel - 2011 - Dialectica 65 (2):177-204.
    In a series of publications, Eli Hirsch has presented a sustained defense of common-sense ontology. Hirsch's argument relies crucially on a meta-ontological position sometimes known as ‘superficialism’. Hirsch's argument from superficialism to common-sense ontology is typically resisted on the grounds that superficialism is implausible. In this paper, I present an alternative argument for common-sense ontology, one that relies on (what I argue is) a much more plausible meta-ontological position, which I call ‘constructivism’. Note well: I will not quite argue that (...)
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  • Universalism and Classes.Nikk Effingham - 2011 - Dialectica 65 (3):451-472.
    Universalism (the thesis that distinct objects always compose a further object) has come under much scrutiny in recent years. What has been largely ignored is its role in the metaphysics of classes. Not only does universalism provide ways to deal with classes in a metaphysically pleasing fashion, its success on these grounds has been offered as a motivation for believing it. This paper argues that such treatments of classes can be achieved without universalism, examining theories from Goodman and Quine, Armstrong (...)
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  • New Wave Pluralism.David Ludwig - 2013 - Dialectica 67 (4):545-560.
    The aim of this paper is to develop a pluralist interpretation of the phenomenal concept strategy (PCS). My starting point is Horgan and Tienson's deconstructive argument according to which proponents of PCS face the following dilemma: either phenomenal concepts or physical concepts allow us to conceive phenomenal states as they are in themselves. If phenomenal concepts allow us to conceive phenomenal states as they are in themselves, then phenomenal states are non-physical states and physicalism is wrong. If physical concepts allow (...)
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  • Following the Argument Where It Leads.Thomas Kelly - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 154 (1):105-124.
    Throughout the history of western philosophy, the Socratic injunction to ‘follow the argument where it leads’ has exerted a powerful attraction. But what is it, exactly, to follow the argument where it leads? I explore this intellectual ideal and offer a modest proposal as to how we should understand it. On my proposal, following the argument where it leaves involves a kind of modalized reasonableness. I then consider the relationship between the ideal and common sense or ‘Moorean’ responses to revisionary (...)
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  • Coincidence and Identity.Penelope Mackie - 2008 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 62:151-176.
    This paper is about a puzzle concerning the metaphysics of material objects: a puzzle generated by cases where material objects appear to coincide, sharing all their matter. As is well known, it can be illustrated by the example of a statue. In front of me now, sitting on my desk, is a statue – a statue of a lion. The statue is made of clay. So in front of me now is a piece of clay. But what is the relation (...)
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  • Staunch Vs. Faint-Hearted Hylomorphism: Toward an Aristotelian Account of Composition.Robert Koons - 2014 - Res Philosophica 91 (2):151-177.
    A staunch hylomorphism involves a commitment to a sparse theory of universals and a sparse theory of composite material objects, as well as to an ontology of fundamental causal powers. Faint-hearted hylomorphism, in contrast, lacks one or more of these elements. On the staunch version of HM, a substantial form is not merely some structural property of a set of elements—it is rather a power conferred on those elements by that structure, a power that is the cause of the generation (...)
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  • Enduring Through Gunk.Matt Leonard - 2018 - Erkenntnis 83 (4):753-771.
    According to one of the more popular endurantist packages on the market, a package I will call multilocational endurantism, enduring objects are exactly located at multiple instantaneous regions of spacetime. However, for all we know, the world might turn out to be spatiotemporally gunky and spatiotemporal gunk entails that this package is false. The goal of this paper is to sketch a view which retains the spirit of multilocational endurantism while also recognizing the possibility of certain types of objects which (...)
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  • Ontic Vagueness: A Guide for the Perplexed.Elizabeth Barnes - 2010 - Noûs 44 (4):601-627.
    In this paper I develop a framework for understanding ontic vagueness. The project of the paper is two-fold. I first outline a definitional account of ontic vagueness – one that I think is an improvement on previous attempts because it remains neutral on other, independent metaphysical issues. I then develop one potential manifestation of that basic definitional structure. This is a more robust (and much less neutral) account which gives a fully classical explication of ontic vagueness via modal concepts. The (...)
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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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  • Coincidence and Form.Kit Fine - 2008 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 82 (1):101-118.
    How can a statue and a piece of alloy be coincident at any time at which they exist and yet differ in their modal properties? I argue that this question demands an answer and that the only plausible answer is one that posits a difference in the form of the two objects.
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  • You Needn't Be Simple.Andrew M. Bailey - 2014 - Philosophical Papers 43 (2):145-160.
    Here's an interesting question: what are we? David Barnett has claimed that reflection on consciousness suggests an answer: we are simple. Barnett argues that the mereological simplicity of conscious beings best explains the Datum: that no pair of persons can itself be conscious. In this paper, I offer two alternative explanations of the Datum. If either is correct, Barnett's argument fails. First, there aren't any such things as pairs of persons. Second, consciousness is maximal; no conscious thing is a proper (...)
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  • Presentism, Persistence and Composition.Ernâni Magalhães - 2011 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 92 (4):509-523.
    Pace Benovsky's ‘Presentism and Persistence,’ presentism is compatible with perdurantism, tropes and bundle-of-universals theories of persisting objects. I demonstrate how the resemblance, causation and precedence relations that tie stages together can be accommodated within an ersatzer presentist framework. The presentist account of these relations is then used to delineate a presentist-friendly account of the inter-temporal composition required for making worms out of stages. The defense of presentist trope theory shows how properties with indexes other than t may be said to (...)
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  • Nihilism Without Self-Contradiction.David Liggins - 2008 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 62:177-196.
    in Robin Le Poidevin (ed.) Being: Developments in Contemporary Metaphysics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Peter van Inwagen claims that there are no tables or chairs. He also claims that sentences such as ‘There are chairs here’, which seem to imply their existence, are often true. This combination of views opens van Inwagen to a charge of self-contradiction. I explain the charge, and van Inwagen’s response to it, which involves the claim that sentences like ‘There are tables’ shift their truth-conditions between (...)
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  • Coincidence as Overlap.L. A. Paul - 2006 - Noûs 40 (4):623–659.
    I discuss puzzles involving coinciding material objects (such as statues and their constitutive lumps of clay) and propose solutions.
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  • The Rumble in the Bundle.Benjamin L. Curtis - 2014 - Noûs 48 (2):298-313.
    In 1952, two well-known characters called ‘A’ and ‘B’ met for the first time to argue about the Identity of Indiscernibles (Black, 1952). A argued that the principle is true, and B that it is false. By all accounts A took a bit of a beating and came out worst-off. Forty-three years later John O’Leary-Hawthorne offered a response on behalf of A that looked as if it would work so long as A was willing to accept the universal-bundle theory of (...)
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  • Review of Fourdimensionalism. [REVIEW]Katherine Hawley - 2006 - Noûs 40 (2):380–394.
    This is a critical study of Ted Sider's book 'Four-Dimensionalism' . Oxford university press 2001. ISBN 0 19 924443 X, hardback; ISBN 0 19 926352 3, paperback.
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  • Existence Questions.Amie L. Thomasson - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 141 (1):63 - 78.
    I argue that thinking of existence questions as deep questions to be resolved by a distinctively philosophical discipline of ontology is misguided. I begin by examining how to understand the truth-conditions of existence claims, by way of understanding the rules of use for ‘exists’ and for general noun terms. This yields a straightforward method for resolving existence questions by a combination of conceptual analysis and empirical enquiry. It also provides a blueprint for arguing against most common proposals for uniform substantive (...)
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  • Against Universal Mereological Composition.Crawford Elder - 2008 - Dialectica 62 (4):433-454.
    This paper opposes universal mereological composition (UMC). Sider defends it: unless UMC were true, he says, it could be indeterminate how many objects there are in the world. I argue that there is no general connection between how widely composition occurs and how many objects there are in the world. Sider fails to support UMC. I further argue that we should disbelieve in UMC objects. Existing objections against them say that they are radically unlike Aristotelian substances. True, but there is (...)
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  • In Defense of Essentialism.L. A. Paul - 2006 - Philosophical Perspectives 20 (1):333–372.
    If an object has a property essentially, it has that property in every possible world according to which it exists.2 If an object has a property accidentally, it does not have that property in every possible world according to which it exists. Claims about an object’s essential or accidental properties are de re modal claims, and essential and accidental properties are de re modal properties. Take an object’s modal profile to specify its essential properties and the range of its accidental (...)
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  • Ordinary Objects and Series‐Style Answers to the Special Composition Question.Paul Silva - 2013 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 94 (1):69-88.
    The special composition question asks, roughly, under what conditions composition occurs. The common sense view is that composition only occurs among some things and that all and only ‘ordinary objects’ exist. Peter van Inwagen has marshaled a devastating argument against this view. The common sense view appears to commit one to giving what van Inwagen calls a ‘series-style answer’ to the special composition question, but van Inwagen argues that series-style answers are impossible because they are inconsistent with the transitivity of (...)
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  • Presentism, Truthmaking and Necessary Connections.Jonathan Tallant - 2014 - Theoria 80 (4):211-221.
    Ross Cameron puts forward a novel solution to the truthmaker problem facing presentism. I claim that, by Cameron's own lights, the view is not in fact a presentist view at all, but rather requires us to endorse a form of Priority Presentism, whereby past objects are derivative and depend for their existence upon present objects. I argue that this view should be rejected.
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  • Super-Relationism: Combining Eliminativism About Objects and Relationism About Spacetime.Baptiste Le Bihan - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (8):2151-2172.
    I will introduce and motivate eliminativist super-relationism. This is the conjunction of relationism about spacetime and eliminativism about material objects. According to the view, the universe is a big collection of spatio-temporal relations and natural properties, and no substance (material or spatio-temporal) exists in it. The view is original since eliminativism about material objects, when understood as including not only ordinary objects like tables or chairs but also physical particles, is generally taken to imply substantivalism about spacetime: if properties are (...)
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  • Vague Objects and Phenomenal Wholes.Olli Koistinen & Arto Repo - 2002 - Acta Analytica 17 (1):83-99.
    We consider the so-called problem of the many, formulated by Peter Unger. It arises because ordinary material things do not have precise boundaries: it is always possible to find borderline parts of which it is not true to say either that they are parts or that they are not. Unger’s conclusion is that there are no ordinary things at all. We describe the solutions of Peter van Inwagen and David Lewis, and make some critical comments upon them. After that we (...)
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  • Eliminativism and the Challenge From Folk Belief.Daniel Z. Korman - 2009 - Noûs 43 (2):242-264.
    Virtually everyone agrees that, even after having presented the arguments for their positions, proponents of revisionary philosophical theories are required to provide some sort of account of the conflict between their theories and what the folk believe. I examine various strategies for answering the challenge from folk belief. The examination proceeds as a case study, whose focus is eliminativism about ordinary material objects. I critically assess eliminativist attempts to explain folk belief by appeal to paraphrase, experience, and intuition.
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  • Kantian Monism.Uriah Kriegel - 2012 - Philosophical Papers 41 (1):23-56.
    Abstract Let ?monism? be the view that there is only one basic object?the world. Monists face the question of whether there are also non-basic objects. This is in effect the question of whether the world decomposes into parts. Jonathan Schaffer maintains that it does, Terry Horgan and Matja? Potr? that it does not. In this paper, I propose a compromise view, which I call ?Kantian monism.? According to Kantian monism, the world decomposes into parts insofar as an ideal subject under (...)
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  • Believing in Things.Zoltán Gendler Szabó - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66 (3):584–611.
    I argue against the standard view that ontological debates can be fully described as disagreements about what we should believe to exist. The central thesis of the paper is that believing in Fs in the ontologically relevant sense requires more than merely believing that Fs exist. Believing in Fs is not even a propositional attitude; it is rather an attitude one bears to the term expressed by 'Fs'. The representational correctness of such a belief requires not only that there be (...)
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  • Consciousness as a Guide to Personal Persistence.Barry Dainton & Tim Bayne - 2005 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83 (4):549-571.
    Mentalistic (or Lockean) accounts of personal identity are normally formulated in terms of causal relations between psychological states such as beliefs, memories, and intentions. In this paper we develop an alternative (but still Lockean) account of personal identity, based on phenomenal relations between experiences. We begin by examining a notorious puzzle case due to Bernard Williams, and extract two lessons from it: first, that Williams's puzzle can be defused by distinguishing between the psychological and phenomenal approaches, second, that so far (...)
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  • Truth Vs. Pretense in Discourse About Motion (or, Why the Sun Really Does Rise).Brendan Jackson - 2007 - Noûs 41 (2):298–317.
    These days it is widely agreed that there is no such thing as absolute motion and rest; the motion of an object can only be characterized with respect to some chosen frame of reference.1 This is a fact of which many of us are well-aware, and yet a cursory consideration of the ways we ascribe motion to objects gives the impression that it is a fact we persistently ignore. We insist to the police officer that we came to a full (...)
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  • The Vagueness Argument for Mereological Universalism.Donald Smith - 2006 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 87 (3):357–368.
    In this paper, I critically discuss one of the more influential arguments for mereological universalism, what I will call ‘the Vagueness Argument’. I argue that a premise of the Vagueness Argument is not well supported and that there are at least two good reasons for thinking that the premise in question is false.
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  • Composition as a Secondary Quality.Uriah Kriegel - 2008 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 89 (3):359-383.
    Abstract: The 'special composition question' is this: given objects O1, . . . , On, under what conditions is there an object O, such that O1, . . . , On compose O? This paper explores a heterodox answer to this question, one that casts composition as a secondary quality. According to the approach I want to consider, there is an O that O1, . . . , On compose (roughly) just in case a normal intuiter would, under normal conditions, (...)
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  • Anscombe, Zygotes, and Coming‐to‐Be.Guy Rohrbaugh - 2014 - Noûs 48 (4):699-717.
    In some quarters, it is held that Anscombe proved that a zygote is not a human being on the basis of an argument involving the possibility of identical twins, but there is surprisingly little agreement on what her argument is supposed to be. I criticize several extant interpretations, both as interpretations of Anscombe and as self-standing arguments, and offer a different understanding of her conclusion on which the non-specificity of creation processes and their goals is at issue.
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  • Relativity and Three Four‐Dimensionalisms.Cody Gilmore, Damiano Costa & Claudio Calosi - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (2):102-120.
    Relativity theory is often said to support something called ‘the four-dimensional view of reality’. But there are at least three different views that sometimes go by this name. One is ‘spacetime unitism’, according to which there is a spacetime manifold, and if there are such things as points of space or instants of time, these are just spacetime regions of different sorts: thus space and time are not separate manifolds. A second is the B-theory of time, according to which the (...)
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  • Common Sense as Evidence: Against Revisionary Ontology and Skepticism.Thomas Kelly - 2008 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 32 (1):53-78.
    In this age of post-Moorean modesty, many of us are inclined to doubt that philosophy is in possession of arguments that might genuinely serve to undermine what we ordinarily believe. It may perhaps be conceded that the arguments of the skeptic appear to be utterly compelling; but the Mooreans among us will hold that the very plausibility of our ordinary beliefs is reason enough for supposing that there must be something wrong in the skeptic’s arguments, even if we are unable (...)
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  • Persistence and Location in Relativistic Spacetime.Cody Gilmore - 2008 - Philosophy Compass 3 (6):1224-1254.
    How is the debate between endurantism and perdurantism affected by the transition from pre-relativistic spacetimes to relativistic ones? After suggesting that the endurance vs. perdurance distinction may run together a pair of cross-cutting distinctions, I discuss two recent attempts to show that the transition in question does serious damage to endurantism.
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