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Giovanni Merlo
University of Geneva
  1. Subjectivism and the Mental.Giovanni Merlo - 2016 - Dialectica 70 (3):311-342.
    This paper defends the view that one's own mental states are metaphysically privileged vis-à-vis the mental states of others, even if only subjectively so. This is an instance of a more general view called Subjectivism, according to which reality is only subjectively the way it is. After characterizing Subjectivism in analogy to two relatively familiar views in the metaphysics of modality and time, I compare the Subjectivist View of the Mental with Egocentric Presentism, a version of Subjectivism recently advocated by (...)
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  2.  88
    Specialness and Egalitarianism.Giovanni Merlo - 2013 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 2 (2):248-257.
    There are two intuitions about time. The first is that there's something special about the present that objectively differentiates it from the past and the future. Call this intuition Specialness. The second is that the time at which we happen to live is just one among many other times, all of which are ‘on a par’ when it comes to their forming part of reality. Call this other intuition Egalitarianism. Tradition has it that the so-called ‘A-theories of time’ fare well (...)
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  3.  88
    Multiple Reference and Vague Objects.Giovanni Merlo - 2017 - Synthese 194 (7):2645-2666.
    Kilimanjaro is an example of what some philosophers would call a ‘vague object’: it is only roughly 5895 m tall, its weight is not precise and its boundaries are fuzzy because some particles are neither determinately part of it nor determinately not part of it. It has been suggested that this vagueness arises as a result of semantic indecision: it is because we didn’t make up our mind what the expression “Kilimanjaro” applies to that we can truthfully say such things (...)
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  4. Complexity, Existence and Infinite Analysis.Giovanni Merlo - 2012 - The Leibniz Review 22:9-36.
    According to Leibniz’s infinite-analysis account of contingency, any derivative truth is contingent if and only if it does not admit of a finite proof. Following a tradition that goes back at least as far as Bertrand Russell, several interpreters have been tempted to explain this biconditional in terms of two other principles: first, that a derivative truth is contingent if and only if it contains infinitely complex concepts and, second, that a derivative truth contains infinitely complex concepts if and only (...)
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  5.  84
    Three Questions About Immunity to Error Through Misidentification.Giovanni Merlo - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (3):603-623.
    It has been observed that, unlike other kinds of singular judgments, mental self-ascriptions are immune to error through misidentification: they may go wrong, but not as a result of mistaking someone else’s mental states for one’s own. Although recent years have witnessed increasing interest in this phenomenon, three basic questions about it remain without a satisfactory answer: what is exactly an error through misidentification? What does immunity to such errors consist in? And what does it take to explain the fact (...)
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    Leibnizian Aggregates Are Not Mind-Dependent Entities.Giovanni Merlo - 2012 - Studia Leibnitiana 44 (2):193-211.
    This paper argues that, according to Leibniz's view of entia per aggregationem, there are (or, at any rate, there could be) aggregates that are entirely mind-independent.
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  7.  29
    Eyes Directed Outward: Alex Byrne: Transparency and Self-Knowledge.Paul Conlan, Giovanni Merlo & Crispin Wright - 2020 - Journal of Philosophy 117 (6):332-351.
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  8.  56
    A Defence of Lichtenberg.Giovanni Merlo - 2019 - Episteme:1-16.
    Cartesians and Lichtenbergians have diverging views of the deliverances of introspection. According to the Cartesians, a rational subject, competent with the relevant concepts, can come to know that he or she thinks – hence, that he or she exists – on the sole basis of his or her introspective awareness of his or her conscious thinking. According to the Lichtenbergians, this is not possible. This paper offers a defence of the Lichtenbergian position using Peacocke and Campbell's recent exchange on Descartes'scogitoas (...)
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  9.  74
    Appearance, Reality, and the Meta-Problem of Consciousness.Giovanni Merlo - 2020 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 27 (5-6):120-130.
    Solving the meta-problem of consciousness requires, among other things, explaining why we are so reluctant to endorse various forms of illusionism about the phenomenal. I will try to tackle this task in two steps. The first consists in clarifying how the concept of consciousness precludes the possibility of any distinction between 'appearance' and 'reality'. The second consists in spelling out our reasons for recognizing the existence of something that satisfies that concept.
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  10.  60
    Disjunction and the Logic of Grounding.Giovanni Merlo - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-21.
    Many philosophers have been attracted to the idea of using the logical form of a true sentence as a guide to the metaphysical grounds of the fact stated by that sentence. This paper looks at a particular instance of that idea: the widely accepted principle that disjunctions are grounded in their true disjuncts. I will argue that an unrestricted version of this principle has several problematic consequences and that it’s not obvious how the principle might be restricted in order to (...)
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  11. Leibniz and the Problem of Temporary Truths.Giovanni Merlo - 2017 - The Leibniz Review 27:31-63.
    Not unlike many contemporary philosophers, Leibniz admitted the existence of temporary truths, true propositions that have not always been or will not always be true. In contrast with contemporary philosophers, though, Leibniz conceived of truth in terms of analytic containment: on his view, the truth of a predicative sentence consists in the analytic containment of the concept expressed by the predicate in the concept expressed by the subject. Given that analytic relations among concepts are eternal and unchanging, the problem arises (...)
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  12.  10
    Phenomenal Qualities: Sense, Perception & Consciousness. [REVIEW]Giovanni Merlo - 2020 - Philosophical Quarterly 70 (278):216-218.
    Phenomenal Qualities: Sense, Perception & Consciousness. Edited By Coates Paul, Coleman Sam.. Price £76.00.).
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  13.  21
    Roberto Ciuni, Kristie Miller and Giuliano Torrengo , New Papers on the Present: Focus on Presentism. Philosophia Verlag – Basic Philosophical Concepts, Munich, 2013, 341 Pp., €88 . ISBN 9783884051030. [REVIEW]Giovanni Merlo - 2015 - Dialectica 69 (1):148-153.
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  14.  53
    Relativism, Realism, and Subjective Facts.Giovanni Merlo & Giulia Pravato - forthcoming - Synthese:1-17.
    Relativists make room for the possibility of “faultless disagreement” by positing the existence of subjective propositions, i.e. propositions true from some points of view and not others. We discuss whether the adoption of this position with respect to a certain domain of discourse is compatible with a realist attitude towards the matters arising in that domain. At first glance, the combination of relativism and realism leads to an unattractive metaphysical picture on which reality comprises incoherent facts. We will sketch the (...)
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    Subjectivity and Temporariness.Giovanni Merlo - 2010 - Dissertation, Oxford University
    Non-reductivists about phenomenal consciousness believe that physical facts are insufficient to ground the existence of phenomenal consciousness. It will be argued that if one is going to be a non-reductivist, then one should not limit oneself to expanding one’s catalogue of the world’s basic features, as recommended in the paradigmatic non-reductivist approach developed by David Chalmers. One should rather take a realist stance towards subjectivity. A realist about subjectivity thinks that at least some of the propositions needed to state how (...)
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  16.  18
    The World as I Found It. A Subjectivist Metaphysics of the Mental.Giovanni Merlo - 2015 - Dissertation, Universitat de Barcelona
    The first part of this thesis articulates and defends the Subjectivist View of the Mental. According to this view, my mental states are essentially different from the mental states of everyone else, but the fact that they are is a subjective fact, rather than an objective one. Chapter 1 explains what it takes for a fact to be subjective, what kind of difference holds between my mental states and everyone else's mental states and what kind of intuitions lead me to (...)
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