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A. R. J. Fisher
University of Manchester
  1. The Pareto Argument for Inequality Revisited.A. R. J. Fisher & Edward F. McClennen - manuscript
    One of the more obscure arguments for Rawls’ difference principle dubbed ‘the Pareto argument for inequality’ has been criticised by G. A. Cohen (1995, 2008) as being inconsistent. In this paper, we examine and clarify the Pareto argument in detail and argue (1) that justification for the Pareto principles derives from rational selfinterest and thus the Pareto principles ought to be understood as conditions of individual rationality, (2) that the Pareto argument is not inconsistent, contra Cohen, and (3) that the (...)
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  2. Priority Monism, Partiality, and Minimal Truthmakers.A. R. J. Fisher - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (2):477-491.
    Truthmaker monism is the view that the one and only truthmaker is the world. Despite its unpopularity, this view has recently received an admirable defence by Schaffer :307–324, 2010b). Its main defect, I argue, is that it omits partial truthmakers. If we omit partial truthmakers, we lose the intimate connection between a truth and its truthmaker. I further argue that the notion of a minimal truthmaker should be the key notion that plays the role of constraining ontology and that truthmaker (...)
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  3. Instantiation in Trope Theory.A. R. J. Fisher - 2018 - American Philosophical Quarterly 55 (2):153-164.
    The concept of instantiation is realized differently across a variety of metaphysical theories. A certain realization of the concept in a given theory depends on what roles are specified and associated with the concept and its corresponding term as well as what entities are suited to fill those roles. In this paper, the classic realization of the concept of instantiation in a one-category ontology of abstract particulars or tropes is articulated in a novel way and defended against unaddressed objections.
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  4. David Lewis, Donald C. Williams, and the History of Metaphysics in the Twentieth Century.A. R. J. Fisher - 2015 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 1 (1):3--22.
    The revival of analytic metaphysics in the latter half of the twentieth century is typically understood as a consequence of the critiques of logical positivism, Quine’s naturalization of ontology, Kripke’s Naming and Necessity, clarifications of modal notions in logic, and the theoretical exploitation of possible worlds. However, this explanation overlooks the work of metaphysicians at the height of positivism and linguisticism that affected metaphysics of the late twentieth century. Donald C. Williams is one such philosopher. In this paper I explain (...)
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  5. Truthmaking and Fundamentality.A. R. J. Fisher - 2016 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 97 (4):448-473.
    I apply the notion of truthmaking to the topic of fundamentality by articulating a truthmaker theory of fundamentality according to which some truths are truth-grounded in certain entities while the ones that don't stand in a metaphysical-semantic relation to the truths that do. I motivate this view by critically discussing two problems with Ross Cameron's truthmaker theory of fundamentality. I then defend this view against Theodore Sider's objection that the truthmaking approach to fundamentality violates the purity constraint. Truthmaker theorists can (...)
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  6.  74
    Abstracta and Abstraction in Trope Theory.A. R. J. Fisher - 2019 - Philosophical Papers 49 (1):41-67.
    Trope theory is a leading metaphysical theory in analytic ontology. One of its classic statements is found in the work of Donald C. Williams who argued that tropes qua abstract particulars are the very alphabet of being. The concept of an abstract particular has been repeatedly attacked in the literature. Opponents and proponents of trope theory alike have levelled their criticisms at the abstractness of tropes and the associated act of abstraction. In this paper I defend the concept of a (...)
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  7. Samuel Alexander's Theory of Categories.A. R. J. Fisher - 2015 - The Monist 98 (3):246-67.
    Samuel Alexander was one of the first realists of the twentieth century to defend a theory of categories. He thought that the categories are genuinely real and grounded in the intrinsic nature of Space-Time. I present his reduction of the categories in terms of Space-Time, articulate his account of categorial structure and completeness, and offer an interpretation of what he thought the nature of the categories really were. I then argue that his theory of categories has some advantages over competing (...)
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  8. Structural Universals.A. R. J. Fisher - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (10):e12518.
    Structural universals are a kind of complex universal. They have been put to work in a variety of philosophical theories but are plagued with problems concerning their compositional nature. In this article, we will discuss the following questions. What are structural universals? Why believe in them? Can we give a consistent account of their compositional nature? What are the costs of doing so?
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  9. Causal and Logical Necessity in Malebranche’s Occasionalism.A. R. J. Fisher - 2011 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 41 (4):523-548.
    The famous Cartesian Nicolas Malebranche (1638-1715) espoused the occasionalist doctrine that ‘there is only one true cause because there is only one true God; that the nature or power of each thing is nothing but the will of God; that all natural causes are not true causes but only occasional causes’ (LO, 448, original italics). One of Malebranche’s well-known arguments for occasionalism, known as, the ‘no necessary connection’ argument (or, NNC ) stems from the principle that ‘a true cause… is (...)
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  10. Donald C. Williams’s Defence of Real Metaphysics.A. R. J. Fisher - 2017 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 25 (2):332-355.
    In the middle of last century metaphysics was widely criticized, ridiculed, and committed to the flames. During this period a handful of philosophers, against several anti-metaphysical trends, defended metaphysics and articulated novel metaphysical doctrines. Donald C. Williams was one of these philosophers. But while his contributions to metaphysics are well known his defence of metaphysics is not and yet it played a key part in the development and revival of metaphysics. In this paper I present his defence of metaphysics in (...)
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  11. Bennett on Parts Twice Over.A. R. J. Fisher - 2013 - Philosophia 41 (3):757-761.
    In this paper I outline the main features of Karen Bennett’s (Australasian Journal of Philosophy 1–21, 2011) non-classical mereology, and identify its methodological costs. I argue that Bennett’s mereology cannot account for the composition of structural universals because it cannot explain the mereological difference between isomeric universals, such as being butane and being isobutane. I consider responses, which come at costs to the view.
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  12.  19
    The Elements and Patterns of Being: Essays in Metaphysics.A. R. J. Fisher (ed.) - 2018 - Oxford University Press.
    Donald C. Williams was a key figure in the development of analytic philosophy. This book will be the definitive source for his highly original work, which did much to bring metaphysics back into fashion. It presents six classic papers and six previously unpublished, revealing his full philosophical vision for the first time.
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  13. Examination of Merricks' Primitivism About Truth.A. R. J. Fisher - 2014 - Metaphysica 15 (2):281-98.
    Trenton Merricks argues for and defends a novel version of primitivism about truth : being true is a primitive monadic but non-intrinsic property. This examination consists of the following triad: a critical discussion of Merricks’ argument for his view, a rejection of his objection against Paul Horwich’s minimalist theory of truth, and a direct objection against his view on the grounds that it entails being true is a mysterious and suspicious property. The conclusion is that Merricks’ primitivism should be rejected.
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  14. Samuel Alexander's Early Reactions to British Idealism.A. R. J. Fisher - 2017 - Collingwood and British Idealism Studies 23 (2):169-196.
    Samuel Alexander was a central figure of the new wave of realism that swept across the English-speaking world in the early twentieth century. His Space, Time, and Deity (1920a, 1920b) was taken to be the official statement of realism as a metaphysical system. But many historians of philosophy are quick to point out the idealist streak in Alexander’s thought. After all, as a student he was trained at Oxford in the late 1870s and early 1880s as British Idealism was beginning (...)
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  15. Personal Identity: Complex or Simple? Gasser Georg and Stefan Matthias, Eds. Cambridge University Press, 2012. XI + 259 Pp. $95 (Hardback). [REVIEW]A. R. J. Fisher - 2013 - Dialogue 52 (4):1-3.
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    Pure Hypocrisy.Tony Lynch & A. R. J. Fisher - 2012 - Philosophy in the Contemporary World 19 (1):32-43.
    We argue that two main accounts of hypocrisy— the deception-based and the moral-non-seriousness-based account—fail to capture a specific kind of hypocrite who is morally serious and sincere "all the way down." The kind of hypocrisy exemplified by this hypocrite is irreducible to deception, self-deception or a lack of moral seriousness. We call this elusive and peculiar kind of hypocrisy, pure hypocrisy. We articulate the characteristics of pure hypocrisy and describe the moral psychology of two kinds of pure hypocrites.
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  17.  79
    Composition as Identity. [REVIEW]A. R. J. Fisher - 2017 - Philosophical Quarterly 67 (267):409-412.
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  18.  9
    Correction To: On Lewis Against Magic: A Study of Method in Metaphysics.A. R. J. Fisher - forthcoming - Synthese:1-1.
    Please note that this article belongs to the Special Issue on the Legacy of David Lewis but was included in issue 195:5 by mistake. It should be regarded as part of this selection of articles.
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