Three plausible views—Presentism, Truthmaking, and Independence—form an inconsistent triad. By Presentism, all being is present being. By Truthmaking, all truth supervenes on, and is explained in terms of, being. By Independence, some past truths do not supervene on, or are not explained in terms of, present being. We survey and assess some responses to this.
If musical works are abstract objects, which cannot enter into causal relations, then how can we refer to musical works or know anything about them? Worse, how can any of our musical experiences be experiences of musical works? It would be nice to be able to sidestep these questions altogether. One way to do that would be to take musical works to be concrete objects. In this paper, we defend a theory according to which musical works are concrete objects. In (...) particular, the theory that we defend takes musical works to be fusions of performances. We defend this view from a series of objections, the first two of which are raised by Julian Dodd in a recent paper and the last of which is suggested by some comments of his in an earlier paper. (shrink)
Can a musical work be created? Some say ‘no’. But, we argue, there is no handbook of universally accepted metaphysical truths that they can use to justify their answer. Others say ‘yes’. They have to find abstract objects that can plausibly be identified with musical works, show that abstract objects of this sort can be created, and show that such abstract objects can persist. But, we argue, none of the standard views about what a musical work is allows musical works (...) both to be created and to persist. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue against Millian Descriptivism: that is, the view that, although sentences that contain names express singular propositions, when they use those sentences speakers communicate descriptive propositions. More precisely, I argue that Millian Descriptivism fares no better (or worse) than Fregean Descriptivism: that is, the view that sentences express descriptive propositions. This is bad news for Millian Descriptivists who think that Fregean Descriptivism is dead.
In “Tropes and Ordinary Physical Objects”, Kris McDaniel argues that ordinary physical objects are fusions of monadic and polyadic tropes. McDaniel calls his view “TOPO”—for “Theory of Ordinary Physical Objects”. He argues that we should accept TOPO because of the philosophical work that it allows us to do. Among other things, TOPO is supposed to allow endurantists to reply to Mark Heller’s argument for perdurantism. But, we argue in this paper, TOPO does not help endurantists do that; indeed, we argue (...) that anyone who accepts TOPO should reject endurantism. (shrink)
In the nineteenth century, astronomers thought that a planet between Mercury and the Sun was causing perturbations in the orbit of Mercury, and they introduced ‘Vulcan’ as a name for such a planet. But they were wrong: there was, and is, no intra-Mercurial planet. Still, these astronomers went around saying things like (2) Vulcan is a planet between Mercury and the Sun. Some philosophers think that, when nineteenth-century astronomers were theorizing about an intra-Mercurial planet, they created a hypothetical planet.
Thanks to David Kaplan (1989a, 1989b), we all know how to handle indexicals like ‘I’. ‘I’ doesn’t refer to an object simpliciter; rather, it refers to an object only relative to a context. In particular, relative to a context C, ‘I’ refers to the agent of C. Since different contexts can have different agents, ‘I’ can refer to different objects relative to different contexts. For example, relative to a context cwhose agent is Gottlob Frege, ‘I’ refers to Frege; relative to (...) a context 0* whose agent is Alexius.. (shrink)
Descriptivists say that every name is synonymous with some definite description, and Descriptivists who are Widescopers say that the definite description that a name is synonymous with must take wide scope with respect to modal adverbs such as “necessarily”. In this paper, I argue against Widescopism. Widescopers should be Super Widescopers: that is, they should say that the definite description that a name is synonymous with must take wide scope with respect to complementizers such as “that”. Super Widescopers should be (...) Super Duper Widescopers: that is, they should say that the definite description that a name is synonymous with must take wide scope with respect to quotation marks. And Super Duper Widescopers should be Ultra Super Duper Widescopers: that is, they should say that, when the definite description that a name is synonymous with itself contains a name, the definite description that that name is synonymous with must take wide scope with respect to modal adverbs, complementizers, and quotation marks. But Descriptivists should not be Ultra Super Duper Widescopers. So Descriptivists should not be Widescopers either. (shrink)
In a series of recent publications, Jeffrey King (The nature and structure of content, 2007; Proc Aristot Soc 109(3):257–277, 2009; Philos Stud, 2012) argues for a view on which propositions are facts. He also argues against views on which propositions are set-theoretical objects, in part because such views face Benacerraf problems. In this paper, we argue that, when it comes to Benacerraf problems, King’s view doesn’t fare any better than its set-theoretical rivals do. Finally, we argue that his view faces (...) a further Benacerraf problem, one that threatens to undercut his explanation of why propositions have truth-conditions. If correct, our arguments undercut King’s main motivation for accepting his view over its rivals. (shrink)
Kit Fine and Gideon Rosen propose to define constitutive essence in terms of ground-theoretic notions and some form of consequential essence. But we think that the Fine–Rosen proposal is a mistake. On the Fine–Rosen proposal, constitutive essence ends up including properties that, on the central notion of essence, are necessary but not essential. This is because consequential essence is closed under logical consequence, and the ability of logical consequence to add properties to an object’s consequential essence outstrips the ability of (...) ground-theoretic notions, as used in the Fine–Rosen proposal, to take those properties out. The necessary-but-not-essential properties that, on the Fine–Rosen proposal, end up in constitutive essence include the sorts of necessary-but-not-essential properties that, others have noted, end up in consequential essence. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that, when it comes to explaining what can be described as “representational” properties of propositions, Soames’s new conception of propositions—on which the proposition that Seattle is sunny is the act of predicating the property being sunny of Seattle and to entertain that proposition is to perform that act—does not have an advantage over traditional ones.
In "Demonstratives or Demonstrations", Marga Reimer argues that quotation marks are demonstrations and that expressions enclosed with them are demonstratives. In this paper, I argue against her view. There are two objections. The first objection is that Reimer''s view has unattractive consequences: there is more ambiguity, there are more demonstratives, and there are more English expressions than we thought. The second objection is that, unlike other ambiguous expressions, some expressions that are ambiguous on Reimer''s view can''t be disambiguated by using (...) subscripts. This suggests that, contrary to her view, those expressions aren't really ambiguous. (shrink)
In ‘Truth, Relativism, and Serial Fiction’, Andrew McGonigal presents new data that a theory of truth in fiction should account for, and argues that the data is best accounted for by his relativist view. I argue against McGonigal’s relativist view and in favour of a more metaphysical view. The key feature of this view is that it is one on which the content of a work of fiction can change over time. Along the way I also argue against Ross Cameron’s (...) contextualist view. (shrink)
In an addendum to Naming and Necessity, Saul Kripke argues against his earlier view that Sherlock Holmes is a possible person. In this paper, I suggest a nonstandard interpretation of the addendum. A key feature of this non-standard interpretation is that it attempts to make sense of why Kripke would be rejecting the view that Sherlock Holmes is a possible person without asserting that it is not the case that Sherlock Holmes is a possible person.
ABSTRACT Tetlock's Expert Political Judgment is a creative, careful, and mostly convincing study of the predictive accuracy of political experts. My only major complaints are that Tetlock (1) understates the predictive accuracy of experts, and (2) does too little to discourage demagogues from misinterpreting his work as a vindication of the wisdom of the average citizen. Experts have much to learn from Tetlock's epistemological audit, but there is still ample evidence that, compared to laymen, experts are very good.
Jerrold Levinson argues that musical works are individuated by their context of origin. But one could just as well argue that musical works are individuated by their context of reception. Moderate contextualism, according to which musical works are individuated by context of origin but not by context of reception, thus appears to be an unstable position. And, although a more thoroughgoing contextualism, according to which musical works are individuated both by context of origin and by context of reception, faces a (...) number of problems, it is nonetheless supported (at least to some extent) by critical practice. (shrink)
Abstract In the 1920s, Austrian?school economists began to argue that in a fully socialized economy, free of competitively generated prices, central planners would have no way to calculate which methods of production would be the most economical. They claimed that this ?economic calculation problem? showed that socialism is ?impossible.? Although many believe that the Austrian position was later vindicated by the collapse of the Soviet bloc, the Austrian school's own methodology disallows such a conclusion. And historical evidence suggests that poor (...) incentives?not lack of economic calculation?were the main source of the economic defects of ?really existing socialism.? (shrink)
In 1988, Michael Nyman composed the score for Peter Greenaway’s film Drowning by Numbers (or did something that we would ordinarily think of as composing that score). We can think of Nyman’s compositional activity as a “generative performance” and of the sound structure that Nyman indicated (or of some other abstract object that is appropriately related to that sound structure) as the product generated by that performance (ix).1 According to one view, Nyman’s score for Drowning by the Numbers—the musical work—is (...) the product generated by Nyman’s compositional activity (namely, an abstract object) and, more generally, artworks are identified with the products generated by compositional or other creative activities. Let’s call this view The Product Theory. By contrast, according to another view, Nyman’s score for Drowning by Numbers is the generative performance itself (namely, Nyman’s compositional activity) and, more generally, artworks are identified with generative performances themselves. Following David Davies in Art as Performance, let’s call this view The Performance Theory (80). In that book, Davies argues for The Performance Theory and against The Product Theory. (shrink)
A surprising conclusion of modern political economy is that democracies with highly ignorant voters can still deliver very good results as long as voters' errors balance each other out. This result is known as the Miracle of Aggregation. This paper begins by reviewing a large body of evidence against this Miracle. Empirically, voters' errors tend to be systematic; they compound rather than cancel. Furthermore, since most citizens vote for the policies they believe are best for society, systematic errors lead voters (...) to support socially suboptimal policies. The paper then considers the case for vetoing popular but misguided democratic decisions, presenting several arguments that overruling democratic decisions is much less objectionable than overruling individual decisions. In fact, since democracies routinely adopt paternalistic policies, the opponent of paternalism for individual decisions should embrace paternalism for democratic decisions. The paper concludes by considering several different mechanisms for improving upon majority rule. (shrink)
In my dissertation (UCLA 2002), I argue that, by appropriating Fregean resources, Millians can solve the problems that empty names pose. As a result, the debate between Millians and Fregeans should be understood, not as a debate about whether there are senses, but rather as a debate about where there are senses.
This symposium’s objections to my book fall into two main categories: philosophical and empirical. The philosophical objections are largely sophistical. If we took them seriously, they would invalidate far more than my book: We would also have to give up social science and common sense. The empirical objections, in contrast, are often thoughtful and important. The most notable: Kiewiet and Mattozzi’s vigorous defense of the American public’s free‐trade credentials, and Wittman’s doubts about the magnitude of the belief gap between economists (...) and the public. But Kiewiet and Mattozzi put too much weight on a single survey question; and the belief gap between economists and the public is much larger than the belief gap between the American public’s far left and far right. (shrink)
JEL Classifications: L13, K42, L15 Keywords: anarcho-capitalism, networks, collusion Abstract: There is a tension between libertarians' optimism about private supply of public goods and their skeptical of the viability of voluntary collusion. (Cowen 1992; Cowen and Sutter 1999) Playing off this asymmetry, Cowen (1992) advances the novel argument that the "free market in defense services" favored by anarcho-capitalists is a network industry where collusion is especially feasible. The current article dissolves Cowen's asymmetry, showing that he fails to distinguish between self-enforcing (...) and non-self-enforcing interaction. Case study evidence on network behavior before and after antitrust supports our analysis. Furthermore, libertarians' joint beliefs on public goods and collusion are more theoretically defensible than Cowen and Sutter (1999) indicate. (shrink)
I heartily accept the motto, - "That government is best which governs least;" and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which I also believe, - "That government is best which governs not at all;" and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have.
Abstract This has been an unusually productive exchange. My critics largely accept my main theoretical claims about economic calculation and socialism. They have also started to do what advocates of the Misesian view should have been doing for decades: offer empirical evidence that that the calculation problem is serious. While I continue to believe that incentive problems explain most of the failures of socialism, I am slightly less confident than I was before. Fortunately, there are many unexploited sources of information (...) to help resolve the issue. (shrink)
Must the state handle the adjudication of disputes? Researchers of different perspectives, from heterodox scholars of law who advocate legal pluralism to libertarian economists who advocate the privatization of law, have increasingly questioned the idea that the state is, or should be, the only source of law. Both groups point out that government law has problems and that non-state alternatives exist. This Article discusses some problems with the public judicial system and several for-profit alternatives. Public courts lack both incentives to (...) embrace customer orientation and pricing mechanisms, plus they face problems associated with the bureaucratic provision of services. When parties are able to choose their tribunals, in contrast, those tribunals must provide service to customers and be mindful about conserving resources. Competition between arbitrators also can allow for experimentation and the provision of customized services rather than a centrally planned, one-size-fits-all system. Contracts with arbitration clauses can easily stipulate the choice of tribunal, and we argue that if government courts simply refused to overrule binding arbitration agreements, de facto privatization could easily take place. This Article discusses how the private adjudication of disputes could enable the market to internalize externalities and provide services that customers desire. (shrink)
Alan Berger’s Terms and Truth covers various expressionsparticularly names and anaphoric pronouns, but also demonstratives and general termsas they occur in various linguistic contexts, including identity sentences, belief ascriptions, and negative existentials. A central thesis of Berger’s book is that all of these expressions are rigid designators. (So I assume that Berger would say, contrary to what the subtitle might suggest, that anaphoric reference is direct reference.).