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Profile: Fraser MacBride (University of Manchester)
Profile: Fraser MacBride (University of Manchester)
  1. Speaking with Shadows: A Study of Neo-Logicism.Fraser MacBride - 2003 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 54 (1):103-163.
    According to the species of neo-logicism advanced by Hale and Wright, mathematical knowledge is essentially logical knowledge. Their view is found to be best understood as a set of related though independent theses: (1) neo-fregeanism-a general conception of the relation between language and reality; (2) the method of abstraction-a particular method for introducing concepts into language; (3) the scope of logic-second-order logic is logic. The criticisms of Boolos, Dummett, Field and Quine (amongst others) of these theses are explicated and assessed. (...)
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  2. What Constitutes the Numerical Diversity of Mathematical Objects?Fraser MacBride - 2006 - Analysis 66 (289):63–69.
  3. How Involved Do You Want to Be in a Non-Symmetric Relationship?Fraser MacBride - 2014 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (1):1-16.
    There are three different degrees to which we may allow a systematic theory of the world to embrace the idea of relatedness?supposing realism about non-symmetric relations as a background requirement. (First Degree) There are multiple ways in which a non-symmetric relation may apply to the things it relates?for the binary case, aRb ? bRa. (Second Degree) Every such relation has a distinct converse?for every R such that aRb there is another relation R* such that bR*a. (Third Degree) Each one of (...)
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  4. The Particular–Universal Distinction: A Dogma of Metaphysics?Fraser MacBride - 2005 - Mind 114 (455):565-614.
    Is the assumption of a fundamental distinction between particulars and universals another unsupported dogma of metaphysics? F. P. Ramsey famously rejected the particular – universal distinction but neglected to consider the many different conceptions of the distinction that have been advanced. As a contribution to the piecemeal investigation of this issue three interrelated conceptions of the particular – universal distinction are examined: universals, by contrast to particulars, are unigrade; particulars are related to universals by an asymmetric tie of exemplification; universals (...)
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  5. For Keeping Truth in Truthmaking.Fraser MacBride - 2013 - Analysis 73 (4):686-695.
    Is the truthmaker principle a development of the correspondence theory of truth? So Armstrong introduced the truthmaker principle to us, but Lewis (2001. Forget about the ‘correspondence theory of truth’. Analysis 61: 275–80.) influentially argued that it is neither a correspondence theory nor a theory of truth. But the truthmaker principle can be correctly understood as a development of the correspondence theory if it’s conceived as incorporating the insight that truth is a relation between truth-bearers and something worldly. And we (...)
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  6.  58
    Meta-Ontology, Epistemology & Essence: On the Empirical Deduction of the Categories.Fraser MacBride & Frederique Janssen-Lauret - 2015 - The Monist 98 (3):290-302.
    A priori reflection, common sense and intuition have proved unreliable sources of information about the world outside of us. So the justification for a theory of the categories must derive from the empirical support of the scientific theories whose descriptions it unifies and clarifies. We don’t have reliable information about the de re modal profiles of external things either because the overwhelming proportion of our knowledge of the external world is theoretical—knowledge by description rather than knowledge by acquaintance. This undermines (...)
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  7. Truthmakers.Fraser MacBride - 2013 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    This article for the Stanford Encyclopedia for Philosophy provides a state of the art survey and assessment of the contemporary debate about truth-makers, covering both the case for and against truth-makers. It explores 4 interrelated questions about truth-makers, (1) What is it to be a truth-maker? (2) Which range, or ranges, of truths are eligible to be made true (if any are)? (3) What kinds of entities are truth-makers? (4) What is the motivation for adopting a theory of truth-makers? And (...)
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  8.  99
    Relations.Fraser MacBride - 2016 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    In this paper I provide a state of the art survey and assessment of the contemporary debate about relations. After (1) distinguishing different varieties of relations, symmetric from non-symmetric, internal from external relations etc. and relations from their set-theoretic models or sequences, I proceed (2) to consider Bradley’s regress and whether relations can be eliminated altogether. Next I turn (3) to the question whether relations can be reduced, bringing to bear considerations from the philosophy of physics as well as metaphysics. (...)
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  9. Neutral Relations Revisited.Fraser MacBride - 2007 - Dialectica 61 (1):25–56.
    Do non‐symmetric relations apply to the objects they relate in an order? According to the standard view of relations, the difference between aRb and bRa obtaining, where R is non‐symmetric, corresponds to a difference in the order in which the non‐symmetric relation R applies to a and b. Recently Kit Fine has challenged the standard view in his important paper ‘Neutral Relations’ arguing that non‐symmetric relations are neutral, lacking direction or order. In this paper I argue that Fine cannot account (...)
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  10.  46
    NeoFregean Metaontology.Fraser MacBride - forthcoming - In P. Ebert & M. Rossberg (eds.), Abstractionism: Essays in Philosophy of Mathematics. Oxford University Press.
  11. Identity and Modality.Fraser MacBride (ed.) - 2006 - Oxford University Press.
    The eleven new papers in this volume address fundamental and interrelated philosophical issues concerning modality and identity, issues that were pivotal to the development of analytic philosophy in the twentieth century, and remain a key focus of debate in the twenty-first. Identity and Modality brings together leading researchers in metaphysics, the philosophy of mind, the philosophy of science, and the philosophy of mathematics.
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  12.  11
    Lewis's Animadversions on the Truthmaker Principle.Fraser MacBride - 2005 - In Helen Beebee & Julian Dodd (eds.), Truthmakers: The Contemporary Debate. Clarendon Press. pp. 117-40.
    The early David Lewis was a staunch critic of the Truthmaker Principle. To endorse the principle, he argued, is to accept that states of affairs are truthmakers for contingent predications. But states of affairs violate Hume's prohibition of necessary connections between distinct existences. So Lewis offered to replace the Truthmaker Principle with the weaker principle that ‘truth supervenes upon being’. This chapter argues that even this principle violates Hume's prohibition. Later Lewis came to ‘withdraw’ his doubts about the Truthmaker Principle, (...)
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  13.  25
    "On The Origins of Order: Non-Symmetric or Only Symmetric Relations?".Fraser MacBride - 2015 - In M. J. Loux & G. Galuzzo (eds.), The Problem of Universals in Contemporary Philosophy. Cambridge University Press. pp. 173-94.
    In this paper I contribute a further element to the case for admitting non-symmetric relations by dismantling the case against them. Armstrong and Dorr have both argued (1) that asymmetric relations give rise to ‘brute necessities’, whilst Dorr further argues (2) that admitting non-symmetric relations generates spurious possibilities and (3) that exploiting work of Goodman and Hazen, we can do without non-symmetric relations anyway. Against (1) I argue that neither Armstrong nor Dorr succeed in avoiding brute necessities themselves. Against (2) (...)
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  14.  35
    Predicate Reference.Fraser MacBride - 2006 - In Barry C. Smith (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Language. Oxford University Press. pp. 422--475.
    Whether a predicate is a referential expression depends upon what reference is conceived to be. Even if it is granted that reference is a relation between words and worldly items, the referents of expressions being the items to which they are so related, this still leaves considerable scope for disagreement about whether predicates refer. One of Frege's great contributions to the philosophy of language was to introduce an especially liberal conception of reference relative to which it is unproblematic to suppose (...)
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  15.  94
    Impure Reference: A Way Around the Concept Horse Paradox.Fraser MacBride - 2011 - Philosophical Perspectives 25 (1):297-312.
    This paper provides a new solution to the concept horse paradox. Frege argued no name co-refers with a predicate because no name can be inter-substituted with a predicate. This led Frege to embrace the paradox of the concept horse. But Frege got it wrong because predicates are impurely referring expressions and we shouldn’t expect impurely referring expressions to be intersubstitutable even if they co-refer, because the contexts in which they occur are sensitive to the extra information they carry about their (...)
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  16.  8
    Structuralism Reconsidered.Fraser MacBride - 2005 - In Stewart Shapiro (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Mathematics and Logic. Oxford University Press. pp. 563--589.
    The basic relations and functions that mathematicians use to identify mathematical objects fail to settle whether mathematical objects of one kind are identical to or distinct from objects of an apparently different kind, and what, if any, intrinsic properties mathematical objects possess. According to one influential interpretation of mathematical discourse, this is because the objects under study are themselves incomplete; they are positions or akin to positions in patterns or structures. Two versions of this idea are examined. It is argued (...)
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  17.  89
    Empty Ideas: A Critique of Analytic Philosophy By Peter Unger. [REVIEW]Fraser MacBride - 2016 - Analysis 76 (1):102-104.
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  18. Can Ante Rem Structuralism Solve the Access Problem?Fraser MacBride - 2008 - Philosophical Quarterly 58 (230):155-164.
    Ante rem structuralism is the doctnne that mathematics descubes a realm of abstract (structural) universab. According to its proponents, appeal to the exutence of these universab provides a source distinctive insight into the epistemology of mathematics, in particular insight into the so-called 'access problem' of explaining how mathematicians can reliably access truths about an abstract realm to which they cannot travel andfiom which they recave no signab. Stewart Shapiro offers the most developed version of this view to date. Through an (...)
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  19. Analytic Philosophy and its Synoptic Commission: Towards the Epistemic End of Days.Fraser MacBride - 2014 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 74:221-236.
    There is no such thing as , conceived as a special discipline with its own distinctive subject matter or peculiar method. But there is an analytic task for philosophy that distinguishes it from other reflective pursuits, a global or synoptic commission: to establish whether the final outputs of other disciplines and common sense can be fused into a single periscopic vision of the Universe. And there is the hard-won insight that thought and language aren't transparent but stand in need of (...)
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  20. Relations and Truthmaking.Fraser MacBride - 2011 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 111 (1pt1):161-179.
    Can Bradley's Regress be solved by positing relational tropes as truth-makers? No, no more than Russell's paradox can be solved by positing Fregean extensions. To call a trope relational is to pack into its essence the relating function it is supposed to perform but without explaining what Bradley's Regress calls into question, viz. the capacity of relations to relate. This problem has been masked from view by the (questionable) assumption that the only genuine ontological problems that can be intelligibly raised (...)
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  21.  58
    Could Armstrong Have Been a Universal?Fraser MacBride - 1999 - Mind 108 (431):471-501.
    There cannot be a reductive theory of modality constructed from the concepts of sparse particular and sparse universal. These concepts are suffused with modal notions. I seek to establish this conclusion by tracing out the pattern of modal entanglements in which these concepts are involved. In order to appreciate the structure of these entanglements a distinction must be drawn between the lower-order necessary connections in which particulars and universals apparently figure, and higher-order necesary connections. The former type of connection relates (...)
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  22. Can Structuralism Solve the ‘Access’ Problem?Fraser MacBride - 2004 - Analysis 64 (284):309–317.
  23. How Truth Depends Upon Being.Fraser MacBride - 2014 - Analysis 74 (3):370-378.
    According to Armstrong (amongst others) ‘any truth, should depend for its truth for something “outside” it’ where this one-way dependency is explained in terms of the asymmetric relationship that obtains between a truth and its truth-maker. But there’s no need to appeal to truth-makers to make sense of this dependency. The truth of a proposition is essentially determined by the interlocking semantic mechanism of reference and satisfaction which already ensures that the truth-value of a proposition depends on how things stand (...)
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  24.  73
    The Problem of Universals and the Limits of Truth-Making.Fraser MacBride - 2002 - Philosophical Papers 31 (1):27-37.
    There is no single problem of universals but a family of difficulties that treat of a variety of interwoven metaphysical, epistemological, logical and semantic themes. This makes the problem of universals resistant to canonical reduction (to a ‘once-and-for-all’ concern). In particular, the problem of universals cannot be reduced to the problem of supplying truth-makers for sentences that express sameness of type. This is (in part) because the conceptual distinction between numerical and qualitative identity must first be drawn before a sentence (...)
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  25.  21
    Introduction to Foundations of Logic & Mathematics, Special Issue.Fraser MacBride - 2004 - Philosophical Quarterly 54 (214):1 - 15.
    Frege attempted to provide arithmetic with a foundation in logic. But his attempt to do so was confounded by Russell's discovery of paradox at the heart of Frege's system. The papers collected in this special issue contribute to the on-going investigation into the foundations of mathematics and logic. After sketching the historical background, this introduction provides an overview of the papers collected here, tracing some of the themes that connect them.
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  26. Where Are Particulars and Universals?Fraser MacBride - 1998 - Dialectica 52 (3):203–227.
    Is there a particular-universal distinction? Is there a difference of kind between all the particulars on the one hand and all the universals on the other? Can we demonstrate that there is such a difference without assuming what we set out to show? In 1925 Frank Ramsey made a famous attempt to answers these questions. He came to the sceptical conclusion that there was no particularuniversal distinction, the theory of universals being merely “a great muddle”. Following Russell, Ramsey identified three (...)
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  27.  60
    The Cambridge Revolt Against Idealism: Was There Ever an Eden?Fraser Macbride - 2012 - Metaphilosophy 43 (1-2):135-146.
    According to one creation myth, analytic philosophy emerged in Cambridge when Moore and Russell abandoned idealism in favour of naive realism: every word stood for something; it was only after “the Fall,” Russell's discovery of his theory of descriptions, that they realized some complex phrases (“the present King of France”) didn't stand for anything. It has become a commonplace of recent scholarship to object that even before the Fall, Russell acknowledged that such phrases may fail to denote. But we need (...)
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  28. On How We Know What There Is.Fraser MacBride - 1998 - Analysis 58 (1):27–37.
  29.  12
    Ramsey on Universals.Fraser MacBride - 2005 - In Hallvard Lillehammer & D. H. Mellor (eds.), Ramsey's Legacy. Oxford University Press.
    According to philosophical folklore Ramsey maintained three propositions in his famous 1925 paper “Universals”: (i) there is no subject-predicate distinction; (ii) there is no particular-universal distinction; (iii) there is no particular-universal distinction because there is no subject-predicate distinction. The ‘first generation’ of Ramsey commentators dismissed “Universals” because they held that whereas predicates may be negated, names may not and so there is a subject-predicate distinction after all. The ‘second generation’ of commentators dismissed “Universals because they held that the absence of (...)
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  30.  32
    Truth-Making and Analysis: A Reply to Rodriguez-Pereyra.Fraser MacBride - 2002 - Philosophical Papers 31 (1):49-61.
    Philosophical Papers Vol.31(1) 2002: 49-61.
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  31.  61
    Introducing Analytic Philosophy: Its Sense and its Nonsense 1879–2002 by Herbert Hochberg. [REVIEW]Fraser MacBride - 2005 - Dialectica 59 (1):81–87.
  32. Listening to Fictions: A Study of Fieldian Nominalism.Fraser MacBride - 1999 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 50:431--55.
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  33. Could Nothing Matter?Fraser MacBride - 2002 - Analysis 62 (2):125–135.
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  34. Speaking with Shadows: A Study of Neo‐logicism.Fraser Macbride - 2003 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 54 (1):103-163.
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  35. The Particular–Universal Distinction: A Dogma of Metaphysics&Quest.Fraser Macbride - 2005 - Mind 114 (455):565-614.
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  36.  38
    Russell's Logical Atomism, by David Bostock. [REVIEW]Fraser Macbride - 2014 - Mind 123 (491):873-876.
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  37.  11
    On Finite Hume.Fraser Macbride - 2000 - Philosophia Mathematica 8 (2):150-159.
    Neo-Fregeanism contends that knowledge of arithmetic may be acquired by second-order logical reflection upon Hume's principle. Heck argues that Hume's principle doesn't inform ordinary arithmetical reasoning and so knowledge derived from it cannot be genuinely arithmetical. To suppose otherwise, Heck claims, is to fail to comprehend the magnitude of Cantor's conceptual contribution to mathematics. Heck recommends that finite Hume's principle be employed instead to generate arithmetical knowledge. But a better understanding of Cantor's contribution is achieved if it is supposed that (...)
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  38.  38
    Two Theories of Modality A Reply to von Wachter.Fraser MacBride - 2004 - Metaphysica 6:111-128.
  39.  32
    The Unity of the Proposition, by Richard Gaskin. [REVIEW]Fraser Macbride - 2014 - Mind 123 (491):898-901.
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  40.  38
    Particulars, Modes and Universals: An Examination of E.J. Lowe's Four-Fold Ontology.Fraser MacBride - 2004 - Dialectica 58 (3):317–333.
    Is there a particular‐universal distinction? Ramsey famously advocated scepticism about this distinction. In “Some Formal Ontological Relations” E.J. Lowe argues against Ramsey that a particular‐universal distinction can be made out after all if only we allow ourselves the resources to distinguish between the elements of a four‐fold ontology. But in defence of Ramsey I argue that the case remains to be made in favour of either the four‐fold ontology Lowe recommends or the articulation of a particular‐universal distinction within it. I (...)
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  41.  33
    How Hochberg Helped Us Take the Ontological Turn.Fraser MacBride - 2014 - Dialectica 68 (2):163-169.
    In this paper I briefly describe Hochberg's role in helping bringing about the ontological turn through his critique of Quine's ostrich nominalism and his arguments in favour of truth-making. I compare Hochberg and Armstrong's fact-centred metaphysics, where the former was an influence for the latter, before charting some of Hochberg's contributions to the history of philosophy.
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  42.  12
    THE TRANSCENDENTAL METAPHYSIC OF G.F. STOUT: HIS DEFENCE AND ELABORATION OF TROPE THEORY.Fraser Macbride - 2014 - In A. Reboul (ed.), Mind, Value and Metaphysics: Papers Dedicated to Kevin Mulligan. Springer. pp. 141-58.
    G. F. Stout is famous as an early twentieth century proselyte for abstract particulars, or tropes as they are now often called. He advanced his version of trope theory to avoid the excesses of nominalism on the one hand and realism on the other. But his arguments for tropes have been widely misconceived as metaphysical, e.g. by Armstrong. In this paper, I argue that Stout’s fundamental arguments for tropes were ideological and epistemological rather than metaphysical. He moulded his scheme to (...)
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  43.  29
    The Oxford Handbook of the History of Analytic Philosophy Edited by Michael Beaney. [REVIEW]Fraser MacBride - 2015 - Philosophy 90 (1):152-156.
  44.  70
    Review: The Philosophy of Mathematics Today. [REVIEW]Fraser MacBride - 2003 - Mind 112 (448):792-799.
  45.  48
    Extreme Metaphysics: Hossack on Logical Objects, Facts, Propositions and Universals.Fraser MacBride - 2011 - Dialectica 65 (1):87-101.
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  46.  54
    Can the Property Boom Last?Fraser MacBride - 2001 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 101 (3):225–246.
    The contemporary Humean programme that seeks to combine property realism with the denial of necessary connections between distinct existences is flawed. Objects and properties by their very natures are entangled in such connections. It follows that modal notions cannot be reductively analysed by appeal to the concept property, not even if the reducing theory posits an abundant supply of entities to fall under that concept.
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  47.  51
    The Julio César Problem.Fraser MacBride - 2005 - Dialectica 59 (2):223–236.
    One version of the Julius Caesar problem arises when we demand assurance that expressions drawn from different theories or stretches of discourse refer to different things. The counter‐Caesar problem arises when assurance is demanded that expressions drawn from different theories . refer to the same thing. The Julio César problem generalises from the counter‐Caesar problem. It arises when we seek reassurance that expressions drawn from different languages refer to the same kind of things . If the Julio César problem is (...)
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  48.  37
    Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus by Roger White. [REVIEW]Fraser MacBride - 2009 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2009 (5).
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  49.  19
    The Julius Caesar Objection : More Problematic Than Ever.Fraser MacBride - 2006 - In Identity and Modality. Oxford University Press. pp. 174.
    This paper investigates the meta-ontological problem, what is the Julius Caesar objection? I distinguish epistemic, metaphysical and semantic versions. I argue that neo-Fregean and supervaluationist solutions to the Caesar objection fails because, amongst other flaws, they fail to determine which version of the problem is in play.
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  50.  43
    Review of Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereyra, Resemblance Nominalism: A Solution to the Problem of Universals[REVIEW]Fraser MacBride - 2004 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2004 (2).
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