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Isaac Wilhelm
Rutgers University - New Brunswick
  1.  42
    Typical: A Theory of Typicality and Typicality Explanation.Isaac Wilhelm - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axz016.
    Typicality is routinely invoked in everyday contexts: bobcats are typically short-tailed; people are typically less than seven feet tall. Typicality is invoked in scientific contexts as well: typical gases expand; typical quantum systems exhibit probabilistic behaviour. And typicality facts like these support many explanations, both quotidian and scientific. But what is it for something to be typical? And how do typicality facts explain? In this paper, I propose a general theory of typicality. I analyse the notion of a typical property. (...)
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  2.  86
    Explanatory Priority Monism.Isaac Wilhelm - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (4):1339-1359.
    Explanations are backed by many different relations: causation, grounding, and arguably others too. But why are these different relations capable of backing explanations? In virtue of what are they explanatory? In this paper, I propose and defend a monistic account of explanation-backing relations. On my account, there is a single relation which backs all cases of explanation, and which explains why those other relations are explanation-backing.
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  3. Centering the Principal Principle.Isaac Wilhelm - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (6):1897-1915.
    I show that centered propositions—also called de se propositions, and usually modeled as sets of centered worlds—pose a serious problem for various versions of Lewis's Principal Principle. The problem, put roughly, is that in scenarios like Elga's `Sleeping Beauty' case, those principles imply that rational agents ought to have obviously irrational credences. To solve the problem, I propose a centered version of the Principal Principle. My version allows centered propositions to be objectively chancy.
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  4.  79
    New Data on the Representation of Women in Philosophy Journals: 2004–2015.Isaac Wilhelm, Sherri Lynn Conklin & Nicole Hassoun - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (6):1441-1464.
    This paper presents new data on the representation of women who publish in 25 top philosophy journals as ranked by the Philosophical Gourmet Report for the years 2004, 2014, and 2015. It also provides a new analysis of Schwitzgebel’s 1955–2015 journal data. The paper makes four points while providing an overview of the current state of women authors in philosophy. In all years and for all journals, the percentage of female authors was extremely low, in the range of 14–16%. The (...)
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  5.  41
    The Stage Theory of Groups.Isaac Wilhelm - 2020 - Tandf: Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98 (4):661-674.
    I propose a `stage theory’ of groups: a group is a fusion of group-stages, where a group-stage is a plurality of individuals at a world and a time. The stage theory consists of existence conditions, identity conditions, and parthood conditions for groups.
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  6.  46
    The Ontology of Mechanisms.Isaac Wilhelm - 2019 - Journal of Philosophy 116 (11):615-636.
    I propose a metaphysical theory of mechanisms based on the notion of causation. In particular, I use causation to formulate existence, identity, and parthood conditions for mechanisms. These conditions provide a sound metaphysical basis for accounts of mechanistic explanation, mechanistic organization, and for more restrictive theories of mechanisms.
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  7.  47
    A Statistical Analysis of Luck.Isaac Wilhelm - 2018 - Synthese (2):1-19.
    A modal analysis of luck, due to Duncan Pritchard, has become quite popular in recent years. There are many reasons to like Pritchard’s analysis, but at least two compelling problems have been identified. So I propose an alternative analysis of luck based on the laws of statistical mechanics. The statistical analysis avoids the two problems facing Pritchard’s analysis, and it has many other attractive features.
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  8.  44
    An Argument for Entity Grounding.Isaac Wilhelm - 2020 - Analysis 80 (3):500-507.
    In this paper, I give an argument for the view that non-fact entities – such as physical objects, abstract objects, events and so on – can ground other entities. Roughly put, the argument is as follows: those who accept this view can provide a more plausible account of the grounds of identity facts than those who deny this view.
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  9.  18
    Celestial Chaos: The New Logics of Theory-Testing in Orbital Dynamics.Isaac Wilhelm - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 65:97-102.
    I explore how the nature, scope, and limits of the knowledge obtained in orbital dynamics has changed in recent years. Innovations in the design of spacecraft trajectories, as well as in astronomy, have led to new logics of theory-testing—that is, new research methodologies—in orbital dynamics. These methodologies—which combine resonance overlap theories, numerical experiments, and the implementation of space missions—were developed in response to the discovery of chaotic dynamical systems in our solar system. In the past few decades, they have replaced (...)
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  10.  40
    Comparing Mathematical Explanations.Isaac Wilhelm - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Philosophers have developed several detailed accounts of what makes some mathematical proofs explanatory. Significantly less attention has been paid, however, to what makes some proofs more explanatory than other proofs. That is problematic, since the reasons for thinking that some proofs explain are also reasons for thinking that some proofs are more explanatory than others. So in this paper, I develop an account of comparative explanation in mathematics. I propose a theory of the `at least as explanatory as' relation among (...)
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  11.  25
    Comparing the Structures of Mathematical Objects.Isaac Wilhelm - forthcoming - Synthese:1-13.
    A popular method for comparing the structures of mathematical objects, which I call the ‘subset approach’, says that X has more structure than Y just in case X’s automorphisms form a proper subset of Y’s automorphisms. This approach is attractive, in part, because it seems to yield the right results in some comparisons of spacetime structure. But as I show, it yields the wrong results in a number of other cases. The problem is that the subset approach compares structure using (...)
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  12.  33
    Erratum To: New Data on the Representation of Women in Philosophy Journals: 2004–2015.Isaac Wilhelm, Sherri Lynn Conklin & Nicole Hassoun - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (6):1465-1466.
  13.  96
    Grounding and Propositional Identity.Isaac Wilhelm - 2021 - Analysis 81 (1):80-81.
    I show that standard grounding conditions contradict standard conditions for the identities of propositions.
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  14.  30
    Interventionist Explanation and the Problem of Single Variable Boundary Constraints.Isaac Wilhelm - 2020 - Noûs 54 (4):945-955.
    According to Interventionism, explanations cite invariant relations which hold among multiple variables. Interventionism incorrectly implies, however, that many common scientific explanations—which cite single‐variable boundary constraints—are not actually explanatory. So I propose a different account of explanation, similar in spirit to Interventionism, which gets those cases of scientific explanation right.
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  15.  68
    The Counteridentical Account of Explanatory Identities.Isaac Wilhelm - 2021 - Journal of Philosophy 118 (2):57-78.
    Many explanations rely on identity facts. In this paper, I propose an account of how identity facts explain: roughly, the fact that A is identical to B explains another fact whenever that other fact depends, counterfactually, on A being identical to B. As I show, this account has many virtues. It avoids several problems facing accounts of explanatory identities, and when precisified using structural equations, it can be used to defend interventionist accounts of causation against an objection.
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  16.  31
    The Representation of Belief.Isaac Wilhelm - 2018 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 47 (4):715-732.
    I derive a sufficient condition for a belief set to be representable by a probability function: if at least one comparative confidence ordering of a certain type satisfies Scott’s axiom, then the belief set used to induce that ordering is representable. This provides support for Kenny Easwaran’s project of analyzing doxastic states in terms of belief sets rather than credences.
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