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Chad Vance
College of William and Mary
  1. Climate Change, Individual Emissions, and Foreseeing Harm.Chad Vance - 2017 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 14 (5):562-584.
    There are a number of cases where, collectively, groups cause harm, and yet no single individual’s contribution to the collective makes any difference to the amount of harm that is caused. For instance, though human activity is collectively causing climate change, my individual greenhouse gas emissions are neither necessary nor sufficient for any harm that results from climate change. Some (e.g., Sinnott-Armstrong) take this to indicate that there is no individual moral obligation to reduce emissions. There is a collective action (...)
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  2. Classical Theism and Modal Realism Are Incompatible.Chad Vance - 2016 - Religious Studies 52 (4):561-572.
    The standard conception of God is that of a necessary being. On a possible worlds semantics, this entails that God exists at every possible world. According to the modal realist account of David Lewis, possible worlds are understood to be real, concrete worlds—no different in kind from the actual world. Some have argued that Lewis’s view is incompatible with classical theism (e.g., Sheehy, 2006). More recently, Ross Cameron (2009) has defended the thesis that Lewisian modal realism and classical theism are (...)
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  3.  84
    Dispositional Modal Truthmakers and the Necessary Origin.Chad Vance - 2014 - Philosophia 42 (4):1111-1127.
    Several philosophers have recently suggested that truths about unactualized metaphysical possibilities are true in virtue of the existence of actual objects and their dispositional properties. For example, on this view, it is true that unicorns are metaphysically possible only if some actual object has (or had) the disposition to bring it about that there are unicorns. This view, a dispositionalist version of what has recently been dubbed “The New Actualism,” is a proposal about the nature of modal truthmakers. But, I (...)
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  4.  69
    Truthmaker Theory Does Not Solve The Gettier Problem.Chad Vance - 2014 - Ratio 27 (3):291-305.
    Truthmaker theory has become immensely popular in recent years. So, it is not surprising that we are beginning to see it put to work in other areas of philosophy. Recently, several philosophers have proposed that truthmaker theory is the key to solving the Gettier problem. Edmund Gettier demonstrated that the traditional analysis of knowledge (as justified, true belief) was unsatisfactory. The truthmaker solution proposes that knowledge is a justified, true belief, where the source of one's justification is either identical to, (...)
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  5.  64
    Modal Truthmakers, Truth Conditions, and Analyses: Or, How to Avoid the Humphrey Objection.Chad Vance - 2017 - Acta Analytica 32 (2):145-159.
    Truthmakers, truth conditions, and analyses are closely related, but distinct in rather important ways. A failure to properly appreciate their differences has led to some confusion regarding the role that possible worlds ought to play with respect to modality. Those philosophers who initially proposed the existence of possible worlds were understood as providing an analysis of modality. More recently, many have interpreted them as providing modal truthmakers. But, possible worlds are only suited to serve as truth conditions for modal truths. (...)
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  6.  79
    The Recycling Problem for Event Individuation.Chad Vance - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (1):1-16.
    If the wedding had taken place an hour later, it would have been rained out. When we make counterfactual claims like this, we indicate that events are not terribly fragile things. That is, we typically think of events as particulars which can survive small changes in nearby possible worlds, such that one and the same event could have occurred under slightly different circumstances. I argue, however, that any account of “non-fragile” event individuation is subject to what is known as the (...)
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  7.  18
    Justifying Subsistence Emissions: An Appeal to Causal Impotence.Chad Vance - forthcoming - Journal of Value Inquiry:1-18.
    With respect to climate change, what is wanted is an account that morally condemns the production of ‘luxury’ greenhouse gas emissions (e.g., joyriding in an SUV), but not ‘subsistence’ emissions (e.g., cooking meals). Now, our individual greenhouse gas emissions either cause harm, or they do not—and those who condemn the production of luxury emissions generally stake their position on the grounds that they do cause harm. Meanwhile, those seeking to defend the moral permissibility of luxury emissions generally do so by (...)
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  8.  72
    The World Is a Necessary Being.Chad Vance - 2020 - Philosophia 48 (1):377-390.
    A standard conception of metaphysical modality accepts that Some de re modal claims are true, These should be understood in terms of a possible worlds semantics, and There is trans-world identity. For instance, it seems true that Humphrey could have won the election. In possible worlds speak, we say that there exists a possible world where Humphrey wins the election. Furthermore, had that possibility been actualized instead of this one, Humphrey—our Humphrey, the very same man—would still have existed. Here, I (...)
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  9.  69
    Causal Relevance, Permissible Omissions, and Famine Relief.Chad Vance - 2018 - Dialectica 72 (1):25-47.
    Failures are sometimes, but not always, causally relevant to events. For instance, the failure of the sprinkler was causally relevant to the house fire. However, the failure of the dam upstream to break (thus inundating the house with water) was not. Similarly, failures to prevent harms are sometimes, but not always, morally wrong. For instance, failing to save a nearby drowning child is morally wrong. Yet, you are also in some sense “allowing” someone on another continent to drown right now, (...)
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