15 found
  1. The sorites paradox and higher-order vagueness.J. A. Burgess - 1990 - Synthese 85 (3):417-474.
    One thousand stones, suitably arranged, might form a heap. If we remove a single stone from a heap of stones we still have a heap; at no point will the removal of just one stone make sufficient difference to transform a heap into something which is not a heap. But, if this is so, we still have a heap, even when we have removed the last stone composing our original structure. So runs the Sorites paradox. Similar paradoxes can be constructed (...)
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  2.  65
    Natural deduction rules for a logic of vagueness.J. A. Burgess & I. L. Humberstone - 1987 - Erkenntnis 27 (2):197-229.
    Extant semantic theories for languages containing vague expressions violate intuition by delivering the same verdict on two principles of classical propositional logic: the law of noncontradiction and the law of excluded middle. Supervaluational treatments render both valid; many-Valued treatments, Neither. The core of this paper presents a natural deduction system, Sound and complete with respect to a 'mixed' semantics which validates the law of noncontradiction but not the law of excluded middle.
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  3. The great slippery-slope argument.J. A. Burgess - 1993 - Journal of Medical Ethics 19 (3):169-174.
    Whenever some form of beneficent killing--for example, voluntary euthanasia--is advocated, the proposal is greeted with a flood of slippery-slope arguments warning of the dangers of a Nazi-style slide into genocide. This paper is an attempt systematically to evaluate arguments of this kind. Although there are slippery-slope arguments that are sound and convincing, typical formulations of the Nazi-invoking argument are found to be seriously deficient both in logical rigour and in the social history and psychology required as a scholarly underpinning. As (...)
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  4.  76
    Potential and foetal value.J. A. Burgess - 2010 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 27 (2):140-153.
    The argument from potential has been hard to assess because the versions presented by friends and those presented by enemies have born very little resemblance to each other. I here try to improve this situation by attempting to bring both versions into enforced contact. To this end, I sketch a more detailed analysis of the modern concept of potential than any hitherto attempted. As one would expect, arguments from potential couched in terms of that notion are evident non-starters. I then (...)
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  5.  32
    When did you first begin to feel it? — Locating the beginning of human consciousness.J. A. Burgess & S. A. Tawia - 1996 - Bioethics 10 (1):1-26.
    In this paper we attempt to sharpen and to provide an answer to the question of when human beings first become conscious. Since it is relatively uncontentious that a capacity for raw sensation precedes and underpins all more sophisticated mental capacities, our question is tantamount to asking when human beings first have experiences with sensational content. Two interconnected features of our argument are crucial. First, we argue that experiences with sensational content are supervenient on facts about electrical activity in the (...)
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  6.  15
    What is minimalism about truth?J. A. Burgess - 1997 - Analysis 57 (4):259-267.
  7. When is circularity in definitions benign?J. A. Burgess - 2007 - Philosophical Quarterly 58 (231):214–233.
    I aim to show how and why some definitions can be benignly circular. According to Lloyd Humberstone, a definition that is analytically circular need not be inferentially circular and so might serve to illuminate the application-conditions for a concept. I begin by tidying up some problems with Humberstone's account. I then show that circular definitions of a kind commonly thought to be benign have inferentially circular truth-conditions and so are malign by Humberstone's test. But his test is too demanding. The (...)
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  8. Vague objects and indefinite identity.J. A. Burgess - 1990 - Philosophical Studies 59 (3):263 - 287.
  9. What is minimalism about truth?J. A. Burgess - 1997 - Analysis 57 (4):259–267.
  10. Is genetic engineering wrong, per se?J. A. Burgess & Adrian Walsh - 1998 - Journal of Value Inquiry 32 (3):393-406.
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  11. Vague Identity: Evans Misrepresented.J. A. Burgess - 1989 - Analysis 49 (3):112 - 119.
    In 'Vague Identity: Evans Misunderstood' David Lewis defends Gareth Evans against a widespread misunderstanding of an argument that appeared in his article 'Can There be Vague Objects?'. Lewis takes himself to be 'defending Evans' and not just correcting a mistake; witness his remark that, 'As misunderstood, Evans is a pitiful figure: a "technical philosopher" out of control of his technicalities, taken in by a fallacious proof of an absurd conclusion'. Let me say at the outset that I take Lewis to (...)
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  12.  93
    Supervaluations and the propositional attitude constraint.J. A. Burgess - 1997 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 26 (1):103-119.
    For the sentences of languages that contain operators that express the concepts of definiteness and indefiniteness, there is an unavoidable tension between a truth-theoretic semantics that delivers truth conditions for those sentences that capture their propositional contents and any model-theoretic semantics that has a story to tell about how indetifiniteness in a constituent affects the semantic value of sentences which imbed it. But semantic theories of both kinds play essential roles, so the tension needs to be resolved. I argue that (...)
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  13.  23
    Consumer Sovereignty, Rationality and the Mandatory Labelling of Genetically Modified Food.J. A. Burgess & A. J. Walsh - 1999 - Business and Professional Ethics Journal 18 (3):7-26.
  14.  91
    Ten moral paradoxes * by Saul Smilansky.J. A. Burgess - 2011 - Analysis 71 (3):603-605.
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  15.  99
    Review of J.C. Beall and Greg Restall, Logical Pluralism. [REVIEW]J. A. Burgess - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (2):519-522.