Prior studies have provided explanations for the presence, use and dissemination of codes of corporate ethics or codes of corporate conduct of business corporations. Most such explanations are functional in nature, and are descriptive as they are derived from the codes and their associated documents. We search for more underlying explanations using two complementary theories: first, social contract theories explaining the exogenous and endogenous reasons of organizational behavior, and then institutional theory explaining why organizations take similar measures in response to (...) institutional pressures. Based on our explanations, we contend that the codes and their use and dissemination are arising from underlying social and institutional pressures for firms to continuously validate their existence in the face of increasing changes and recurrent uncertainties. (shrink)
In epistemology the nagging voice of the sceptic has always been present, whispering that 'You can't know that you have hands, or just about anything else, because for all you know your whole life is a dream.' Philosophers have recently devised ingenious ways to argue against and silence this voice, but Bryan Frances now presents a highly original argument template for generating new kinds of radical scepticism, ones that hold even if all the clever anti-sceptical fixes defeat the traditional (...) sceptic. Sharp, witty, and fun to read, Scepticism Comes Alive will be highly provocative for anyone interested in knowledge and its limits. (shrink)
In face of the multiple controversies surrounding the DSM process in general and the development of DSM-5 in particular, we have organized a discussion around what we consider six essential questions in further work on the DSM. The six questions involve: 1) the nature of a mental disorder; 2) the definition of mental disorder; 3) the issue of whether, in the current state of psychiatric science, DSM-5 should assume a cautious, conservative posture or an assertive, transformative posture; 4) the role (...) of pragmatic considerations in the construction of DSM-5; 5) the issue of utility of the DSM - whether DSM-III and IV have been designed more for clinicians or researchers, and how this conflict should be dealt with in the new manual; and 6) the possibility and advisability, given all the problems with DSM-III and IV, of designing a different diagnostic system. Part I of this article will take up the first two questions. With the first question, invited commentators express a range of opinion regarding the nature of psychiatric disorders, loosely divided into a realist position that the diagnostic categories represent real diseases that we can accurately name and know with our perceptual abilities, a middle, nominalist position that psychiatric disorders do exist in the real world but that our diagnostic categories are constructs that may or may not accurately represent the disorders out there, and finally a purely constructivist position that the diagnostic categories are simply constructs with no evidence of psychiatric disorders in the real world. The second question again offers a range of opinion as to how we should define a mental or psychiatric disorder, including the possibility that we should not try to formulate a definition. The general introduction, as well as the introductions and conclusions for the specific questions, are written by James Phillips, and the responses to commentaries are written by Allen Frances. (shrink)
In face of the multiple controversies surrounding the DSM process in general and the development of DSM-5 in particular, we have organized a discussion around what we consider six essential questions in further work on the DSM. The six questions involve: 1) the nature of a mental disorder; 2) the definition of mental disorder; 3) the issue of whether, in the current state of psychiatric science, DSM-5 should assume a cautious, conservative posture or an assertive, transformative posture; 4) the role (...) of pragmatic considerations in the construction of DSM-5; 5) the issue of utility of the DSM - whether DSM-III and IV have been designed more for clinicians or researchers, and how this conflict should be dealt with in the new manual; and 6) the possibility and advisability, given all the problems with DSM-III and IV, of designing a different diagnostic system. Part I of this article took up the first two questions. Part II will take up the second two questions. Question 3 deals with the question as to whether DSM-V should assume a conservative or assertive posture in making changes from DSM-IV. That question in turn breaks down into discussion of diagnoses that depend on, and aim toward, empirical, scientific validation, and diagnoses that are more value-laden and less amenable to scientific validation. Question 4 takes up the role of pragmatic consideration in a psychiatric nosology, whether the purely empirical considerations need to be tempered by considerations of practical consequence. As in Part 1 of this article, the general introduction, as well as the introductions and conclusions for the specific questions, are written by James Phillips, and the responses to commentaries are written by Allen Frances. (shrink)
In the conclusion to this multi-part article I first review the discussions carried out around the six essential questions in psychiatric diagnosis – the position taken by Allen Frances on each question, the commentaries on the respective question along with Frances’ responses to the commentaries, and my own view of the multiple discussions. In this review I emphasize that the core question is the first – what is the nature of psychiatric illness – and that in some manner (...) all further questions follow from the first. Following this review I attempt to move the discussion forward, addressing the first question from the perspectives of natural kind analysis and complexity analysis. This reflection leads toward a view of psychiatric disorders – and future nosologies – as far more complex and uncertain than we have imagined. (shrink)
This translation of this classic text contains a balance of cultural and biological considerations. While arguing for the strong influence of exposure and of formal training on the way that music is perceived, Frances draws on the literature concerning the amusias to illustrate his points about the types of cognitive abstraction that are performed by the listener.
This book is born out of two contradictions: first, it explores the making of meaning in a musical form that was made to lose its meaning at the turn of the nineteenth century; secondly, it is a history of a music that claims to have no history - absolute music. The book therefore writes against that notion of absolute music which tends to be the paradigm for most musicological and analytical studies. It is concerned not so much with what music (...) is, but with why and how meaning is constructed in instrumental music and what structures of knowledge need to be in place for such meaning to exist. From the thought of Vincenzo Galilei to that of Theodore Adorno, Daniel Chua suggests that instrumental music has always been a critical and negative force in modernity, even with its nineteenth-century apotheosis as 'absolute music'. (shrink)
In face of the multiple controversies surrounding the DSM process in general and the development of DSM-5 in particular, we have organized a discussion around what we consider six essential questions in further work on the DSM. The six questions involve: 1) the nature of a mental disorder; 2) the definition of mental disorder; 3) the issue of whether, in the current state of psychiatric science, DSM-5 should assume a cautious, conservative posture or an assertive, transformative posture; 4) the role (...) of pragmatic considerations in the construction of DSM-5; 5) the issue of utility of the DSM – whether DSM-III and IV have been designed more for clinicians or researchers, and how this conflict should be dealt with in the new manual; and 6) the possibility and advisability, given all the problems with DSM-III and IV, of designing a different diagnostic system. Part 1 of this article took up the first two questions. Part 2 took up the second two questions. Part 3 now deals with Questions 5 & 6. Question 5 confronts the issue of utility, whether the manual design of DSM-III and IV favors clinicians or researchers, and what that means for DSM-5. Our final question, Question 6, takes up a concluding issue, whether the acknowledged problems with the earlier DSMs warrants a significant overhaul of DSM-5 and future manuals. As in Parts 1 & 2 of this article, the general introduction, as well as the introductions and conclusions for the specific questions, are written by James Phillips, and the responses to commentaries are written by Allen Frances. (shrink)
Philosophers often find themselves in disagreement with contemporary philosophers they know full well to be their epistemic superiors on the topics relevant to the disagreement. This looks epistemically irresponsible. I offer a detailed investigation of this problem of the reflective epistemic renegade. I argue that although in some cases the renegade is not epistemically blameworthy, and the renegade situation is significantly less common than most would think, in a troublesome number of cases in which the situation arises the renegade is (...) blameworthy in her disagreement with recognized epistemic superiors. I also offer some thoughts on what it would mean for philosophical practice for us to refrain from being renegades. Finally, I show how a new kind of radical skepticism emerges from modest theses regarding the renegade. (shrink)
Many highly educated people think religious belief is irrational and unscientific. If you ask a philosopher, however, you'll likely get two answers: most religious belief is rational in some respects and irrational in other respects. In this essay I explain why they think religious belief is rational. In a sequel essay I explain why they think the very same beliefs are irrational.
In this essay I try to motivate and formulate the main epistemological questions to ask about the phenomenon of religious disagreement. I will not spend much time going over proposed answers to those questions. I address the relevance of the recent literature on the epistemology of disagreement. I start with some fiction and then, hopefully, proceed with something that has at least a passing acquaintance with truth.
If you retain your belief upon learning that a large number and percentage of your recognized epistemic superiors disagree with you, then what happens to the epistemic status of your belief? I investigate that theoretical question as well has the applied case of philosophical disagreement—especially disagreement regarding purely philosophical error theories, theories that do not have much empirical support and that reject large swaths of our most commonsensical beliefs. I argue that even if all those error theories are false, either (...) (a) the average philosopher’s true commonsensical beliefs are epistemically impoverished, or (b) a good portion of philosophy is bunk and philosophers should give up most of their error theories despite the fact that their supporting arguments are generally as good as or even better than other philosophical arguments. (shrink)
I’m going to argue for a set of restricted skeptical results: roughly put, we don’t know that fire engines are red, we don’t know that we sometimes have pains in our lower backs, we don’t know that John Rawls was kind, and we don’t even know that we believe any of those truths. However, people unfamiliar with philosophy and cognitive science do know all those things. The skeptical argument is traditional in form: here’s a skeptical hypothesis; you can’t epistemically neutralize (...) it, you have to be able to neutralize it to know P; so you don’t know P. But the skeptical hypotheses I plug into it are “real, live” scientific-philosophical hypotheses often thought to be actually true, unlike any of the outrageous traditional skeptical hypotheses (e.g., ‘You’re a brain in a vat’). So I call the resulting skepticism Live Skepticism. Notably, the Live Skeptic’s argument goes through even if we adopt the clever anti-skeptical fixes thought up in recent years such as reliabilism, relevant alternatives theory, contextualism, and the rejection of epistemic closure. Furthermore, the scope of Live Skepticism is bizarre: although we don’t know the simple facts noted above, many of us do know that there are black holes and other amazing facts. (shrink)
Regardless of who you are or how you live your life, you disagree with millions of people on an enormous number of topics from politics, religion and morality to sport, culture and art. Unless you are delusional, you are aware that a great many of the people who disagree with you are just as smart and thoughtful as you are - in fact, you know that often they are smarter and more informed. But believing someone to be cleverer or more (...) knowledgeable about a particular topic usually won’t change your mind. Should it? This book is devoted to exploring this quandary - what should we do when we encounter disagreement, particularly when we believe someone is more of an authority on a subject than we are? The question is of enormous importance, both in the public arena and in our personal lives. Disagreement over marriages, beliefs, friendships and more causes immense personal strife. People with political power disagree about how to spend enormous amounts of money, about what laws to pass, or about wars to fight. If only we were better able to resolve our disagreements, we would probably save millions of lives and prevent millions of others from living in poverty. The first full-length text-book on this philosophical topic, Disagreement provides students with the tools they need to understand the burgeoning academic literature and its perspectives. Including case studies, sample questions and chapter summaries, this engaging and accessible book is the perfect starting point for students and anyone interested in thinking about the possibilities and problems of this fundamental philosophical debate. (shrink)
Suppose you know that someone is your epistemic peer regarding some topic. You admit that you cannot think of any relevant epistemic advantage you have over her when it comes to that topic; you admit that she is just as likely as you to get P's truth-value right. Alternatively, you might know that she is your epistemic superior regarding the topic. And then after learning this about her you find out that she disagrees with you about P. In those situations (...) it appears that the confidence with which one holds one's belief should be significantly reduced. My primary goal in this essay is to present and reflect upon a set of cases of disagreement that have not been discussed in the literature but are vital to consider. I argue that in the new cases one is reasonable in not lowering one?s confidence in the belief. Then I articulate and defend an ambitious principle, the Disagreement Principle, meant to answer the question 'Under what conditions am I epistemically blameworthy in retaining my belief with the same level of confidence after I have discovered recognized peers or superiors who disagree with me?'. (shrink)
Byrne has demonstrated that although subjects can make deductively valid inferences of the modus ponens and modus tollens forms, these valid inferences can be suppressed by presenting an appropriate additional premise “If R then Q” with the original conditional “If P then Q”. This suppression effect challenges the assumption of all syntactic theories of conditional reasoning that formal rules of inference such as modus ponens is part of mental logic. This paper argues that both the syntactic and the mental model (...) accounts of the suppression effect are inadequate because they fail to give a principled account of the critical interpretive component involved in reasoning. In contrast, the relative salience model proposed in this study emphasized the centrality of the interpretative processes with the critical component being the relative salience of premises as judged by subjects on the basis of their prior knowledge activated in particular problem situations. Using 120 undergraduates and 120 policemen as subjects, predictions from the model were tested and confirmed in a suppression paradigm and evidence of convergent validity for the construct of salience were obtained. The results cannot be reconciled with either the syntactic view or the mental model view that have dominated theories of conditional reasoning. (shrink)
Those of us who take skepticism seriously typically have two relevant beliefs: (a) it’s plausible (even if false) that in order to know that I have hands I have to be able to epistemically neutralize, to some significant degree, some skeptical hypotheses, such as the brain-in-a-vat (BIV) one; and (b) it’s also plausible (even if false) that I can’t so neutralize those hypotheses. There is no reason for us to also think (c) that the BIV hypothesis, for instance, is plausible (...) or probably true. In order to take skepticism seriously it’s sufficient to hold (a) and (b); one need not hold (c). Indeed, philosophers who accept (a) and (b) never endorse (c). Show me a philosopher who suspects that he is a brain in a vat and I’ll show you someone who is deranged! That’s one thing that bothers undergraduates in philosophy. They object: why on earth do some philosophers take the BIV hypothesis to pose any threat at all to our beliefs given that those very same philosophers think that there’s no real chance that the BIV hypothesis is true? Sure, the BIV hypothesis is formally inconsistent with my belief that I have hands, so if the former is true then my belief is false. But so what? Why should that bare inconsistency matter so much? Is this strange attitude amongst philosophers the result of some logic fetish infecting the philosophical community? It is sometimes said that the skeptical hypotheses are not only inconsistent with our beliefs but are explanatory of our experiences, which is supposed to make them more of a threat. But students aren’t fooled: although the skeptical hypotheses may attempt to explain why our experience is as it is, it’s the kind of attempt appropriate for science fiction movies that are all special effects and virtually no plot. No one with any sense of reality will take the evil demon hypothesis to be even tenuously explanatory. (shrink)
For years philosophers argued for the existence of distinct yet materially coincident things by appealing to modal and temporal properties. For instance, the statue was made on Monday and could not survive being flattened; the lump of clay was made months before and can survive flattening. Such arguments have been thoroughly examined. Kit Fine has proposed a new set of arguments using the same template. I offer a critical evaluation of what I take to be his central lines of reasoning.
In this article I offer a three-pronged defense of Millian theories, all of which share the rough idea that all there is to a proper name is its referent, so it has no additional sense. I first give what I believe to be the first correct analysis of Kripke’s puzzle and its anti-Fregean lessons. The main lesson is that the Fregean’s arguments against Millianism and for the existence of semantically relevant senses (that is, individuative elements of propositions or belief contents (...) that are sensitive to our varying personal conceptions of the referents of those elements) are viciously circular. Thus, the Fregean must give new arguments for her central claims. Second, I offer an original, positive argument for the Millian idea that the thoughts that Cicero was bald and that Tully was bald are identical. Incredibly, the argument appeals to nothing but highly intuitive, pre-theoretical principles regarding folk psychological usage—traditionally the source of Fregean intuitions. Third, I examine one of the most important recent papers on Kripke’s puzzle, that by David Sosa (1996). Sosa claims to have found a way to turn the tables on Kripke’s puzzle by using it to argue against Millian theories. I argue that Sosa’s argument on behalf of the Fregean is question-begging. I conclude that Millian theories can be seriously defended without any use of theoretical constructs such as guises or Russellian propositions, and Fregeans need to start over arguing for their theory’s central claims. (shrink)
We asked whether the influence of an invisible prime on movement is dependent on conscious movement expectations. Participants reached to a central target, which triggered a directional prime–mask arrow sequence. Participants were instructed that the visible arrows would most often signal a movement modification in a specific direction. Kinematic analyses revealed that responses to the visible mask were influenced by participants’ intentional bias, as movements were fastest when the more probable mask was displayed. In addition, responses were influenced by the (...) invisible prime without regard to its relationship to the more probable mask. Analysis of the time of initial trajectory modifications revealed that both primes influenced responses in a similar manner after accounting for participants’ bias. These results imply that invisible stimuli automatically activate their associated responses and that unconscious priming of the motor system is insensitive to the conscious expectations of the participant making the pointing movements. (shrink)
We all can identify many contemporary philosophy professors we know to be theists of some type or other. We also know that often enough their nontheistic beliefs are as epistemically upstanding as the non-theistic beliefs of philosophy professors who aren’t theists. In fact, the epistemic-andnon-theistic lives of philosophers who are theists are just as epistemically upstanding as the epistemic-and-non-theistic lives of philosophers who aren’t theists. Given these and other, similar, facts, there is good reason to think that the pro-theistic beliefs (...) of theistic philosophers are frequently epistemically upstanding. Given their impeccable epistemic credentials on non-theistic matters, the amount of careful thought that lies behind their theism, the large size of the community of philosophical theists, as well as other, similar facts, it would be surprising if all or even most of their pro-theistic beliefs were epistemically blameworthy in some or other signicant sense tied to charges such as ‘He should know better than to believe that’ (so mere false belief need not be blameworthy in this sense; the use of ‘blameworthy’ will be claried below). Of course some of the pro-theistic beliefs of some theistic philosophers are epistemically blameworthy; the mere large numbers of fallible theistic philosophers almost guarantees it. My point here is that it would be unexpected if most of the pro-theistic beliefs of theistic philosophers were epistemically blameworthy. (shrink)
Shapes that are rendered invisible through backward masking are still able to influence motor responses: this is called masked priming. Yet it is unknown whether this influence is on the control of ongoing action, or whether it merely influences the initiation of an already-programmed action. We modified a masked priming procedure such that the critical prime-mask sequence was displayed during the execution of an already-initiated goal-directed pointing movement. Psychophysical tests of prime visibility indicated that the identity of the prime shapes (...) were not accessible to participants for conscious report. Yet detailed kinematic analysis of the finger in motion revealed that masked primes had an influence on the pointing trajectories within 277 ms of their appearance, 56 ms earlier than the trajectory deviations observed in response to the visible masks. These results indicate that subliminal shapes can indeed influence the control of ongoing motor activity. (shrink)
Content externalism is the dominant view in the philosophy of mind. Content essentialism, the thesis that thought tokens have their contents essentially, is also popular. And many externalists are supporters of such essentialism. However, endorsing the conjunction of those views either (i) commits one to a counterintuitive view of the underlying physical nature of thought tokens or (ii) commits one to a slightly different but still counterintuitive view of the relation of thought tokens to physical tokens as well as a (...) rejection of realist physicalism. In this essay I reveal the problem and articulate and adjudicate among the possible solutions. I will end up rejecting content essentialism. (shrink)
Millianism is reasonable; that is, it is reasonable to think that all there is to the semantic value of a proper name is its referent. But Millianism appears to be undermined by the falsehood of Substitutivity, the principle that interchanging coreferential proper names in an intentional context cannot change the truth value of the resulting belief report. Mary might be perfectly rational in assenting to ‘Twain was a great writer’ as well as ‘Clemens was not a great writer’. Her confusion (...) does not seem to preclude her from assenting to those sentences in a normal, understanding manner. That is, Assent-for-Mary is true: Mary can knowingly assent to ‘Twain was a great writer’ and ‘Clemens was not a great writer’. By Disquotation—the rough principle that if in ordinary circumstances one assents to “P”, then one believes that P—Mary believes that Twain was a great writer and she believes that it’s not the case that Clemens was a great writer. If Substitutivity were true, then since ‘Mary believes that Twain was a great writer’ is true, ‘Mary believes that Clemens was a great writer’ would have to be true too. But then Mary would amount to a refutation of the plausible principle Consistency that, roughly put, no rational adult can have occurrently held and reflectively considered and compared contradictory beliefs. Since Disquotation, Assent-for-Mary, and Consistency are true, Substitutivity has to go. (shrink)
Kripke’s puzzle has puts pressure on the intuitive idea that one can believe that Superman can fly without believing that Clark Kent can fly. If this idea is wrong then many theories of belief and belief ascription are built from faulty data. I argue that part of the proper analysis of Kripke’s puzzle refutes the closure principles that show up in many important arguments in epistemology, e.g., if S is rational and knows that P and that P entails Q, then (...) if she considers these two beliefs and Q, then she is in a position to know that.. (shrink)
My hunch has always been that in the end, Fregeanism will defeat Millianism. So I suspect that my (1998) arguments on behalf of Millianism are flawed. Peter Graham (1999) is confident he has found the flaws, but he has not. I hope that some clarification will encourage others to reveal the errors.
The Burge-Putnam thought experiments have generated the thesis that beliefs are not fixed by the constitution of the body. However, many philosophers have thought that if this is true then there must be another content-like property. Even if the contents of our attitudes such as the one in ‘believes that aluminum is a light metal’, do not supervene on our physical makeups, nevertheless people who are physical duplicates must be the same when it comes to evaluating their rationality and explaining (...) their actions. I argue that the considerations motivating this view are best handled with just the ordinary ‘that’-clause contents. (shrink)
I say that it’s philosophically inexpensive because I think it is more convincing than any other Twin-Earth thought experiment in that it sidesteps many of the standard objections to the usual thought experiments. I also discuss narrow contents and give an analysis of Putnam’s original argument.
The authors discuss some of the conceptual issues that must be considered in using and understanding psychiatric classification. DSM-IV is a practical and common sense nosology of psychiatric disorders that is intended to improve communication in clinical practice and in research studies. DSM-IV has no philosophic pretensions but does raise many philosphical questions. This paper describes the development of DSM-IV and the way in which it addresses a number of philosophic issues: nominalism vs. realism, epistemology in science, the mind/body dichotomy, (...) the definition of mental disorders, and dimensional vs. categorical classification. (shrink)
Saul Kripke's puzzle about belief demonstrates the lack of soundness of the traditional argument for the Fregean fundamental principle that the sentences 'S believes that a is F' and 'S believes that b is F' can differ in truth value even if a = b. This principle is a crucial premise in the traditional Fregean argument for the existence of semantically relevant senses, individuative elements of beliefs that are sensitive to our varying conceptions of what the beliefs are about. Joseph (...) Owens has offered a new argument for this fundamental principle, one that is not subject to Kripke's criticisms. I argue that even though Owens' argument avoids Kripke's criticisms, it has other flaws. (shrink)
In this essay (for undergraduates) I introduce three of the famous semantic paradoxes: the Liar, Grelling’s, and the No-No. Collectively, they seem to show that the notion of truth is highly paradoxical, perhaps even contradictory. They seem to show that the concept of truth is a bit akin to the concept of a married bachelor—it just makes no sense at all. But in order to really understand those paradoxes one needs to be very comfortable thinking about how lots of interesting (...) sentences talk about not dogs or cats or elections or baseball but sentences. That is, we need to get familiar analyzing sentences that talk about sentences. (shrink)
Religious identity has, in recent times, become an important point of inquiry because of the growing awareness of religious diversity. On the one hand, this reality of diversity has served as an impetus to return to the roots of one’s religion. On the other hand, others have called for a more pluralist stance, out of the need to open up to other traditions. In light of this polarity, I argue that one can commit to one’s religion while opening up to (...) the religious other in a way that does not threaten one’s own tradition. This is done through a hermeneutic analysis of the religious identity, taking off from Paul Ricoeur’s phenomenological hermeneutics – how this identity is formed and informed by the different significations of meaning within the tradition, and how the believer interacts with this tradition to construct his or her own narrative identity, through his or her imagination, mapping out the constellations of possible human action that root themselves in the necessity in encountering and working with the religious other, for this necessity is constitutive of one’s commitment to the tradition, embodied in the biblical narratives that call for this encounter. In sum, it is possible to be committed to one’s faith conviction while being hospitable to the religious other because it is constitutive of religion itself to encounter its other, and it is in this encounter that faith is truly understood as conviction. (shrink)
The epistemological consequences of paradox are paradoxical. They can be usefully generated by telling a series of once-upon-a-time stories that make various philosophical points, starting out innocent and ending up, well, paradoxical. This is an introduction to my Live Skepticism, defended in Skepticism Comes Alive.
Research suggests that perceptual experience of our movements adapts together with movement control when we are the agents of our actions. Is this agency critical for perceptual and motor adaptation? We had participants view cursor feedback during elbow extension–flexion movements when they actively moved their arm, or had their arm passively moved. We probed adaptation of movement perception by having participants report the reversal point of their unseen movement. We probed adaptation of movement control by having them aim to a (...) target. Perception and control of active movement were influenced by both types of exposure, although adaptation was stronger following active exposure. Furthermore, both types of exposure led to a change in the perception of passive movements. Our findings support the notion that perception and control adapt together, and they suggest that some adaptation is due to recalibrated proprioception that arises independently of active engagement with the environment. (shrink)
In this essay I comparatively evaluate two realist metaphysical accounts of modality: David Lewis’ (1986) genuine modal realism (GMR), and neo-Aristotelian modal realism (AMR) as put forth by Alexander Pruss (2011). GMR offers a reductive analysis of modal claims of possibility and necessity in terms of claims quantifying over concrete worlds and counterparts, and is in this way committed the existence of a plurality of concrete worlds other than the actual world; AMR, on the other hand, offers an analysis of (...) modal claims in terms of claims about the causal powers of existing objects in the actual world, and identifies these powers and powerful properties as the truthmakers for modal truths of possibility and necessity. I consider two objections to GMR; firstly, that it leads to ethical paradoxes, and secondly, that the counterparts it offers as truthmakers for modal claims are fundamentally irrelevant to the de re modal properties of objects. I argue that AMR bears a prima facie advantage over GMR by reason of its avoidance of those two objections, before evaluating two objections faced by AMR itself, namely, that its analysis is not genuinely explanatory, and secondly, that the ontology of powers fails to account for the full range of metaphysical possibility. I argue that AMR has the resources to avoid these objections, that AMR on balance is more attractive, and that therefore AMR is worthy of serious consideration by advocates of GMR. References LEWIS, DAVID K. (1986). On the plurality of worlds. New York, NY, USA: B. Blackwell. PRUSS, ALEXANDER R. (2011). Actuality, Possibility, and Worlds. London: Continuum. (shrink)