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James (J.T.M.) Miller
Durham University
  1. A Bundle Theory of Words.J. T. M. Miller - 2019 - Synthese:1-18.
    It has been a common assumption that words are substances that instantiate or have properties. In this paper, I question the assumption that our ontology of words requires posting substances by outlining a bundle theory of words, wherein words are bundles of various sorts of properties (such as semantic, phonetic, orthographic, and grammatical properties). I argue that this view can better account for certain phenomena than substance theories, is ontologically more parsimonious, and coheres with claims in linguistics.
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  2. On the Individuation of Words.J. T. M. Miller - 2019 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-10.
    The idea that two words can be instances of the same word is a central intuition in our conception of language. This fact underlies many of the claims that we make about how we communicate, and how we understand each other. Given this, irrespective of what we think words are, it is common to think that any putative ontology of words, must be able to explain this feature of language. That is, we need to provide criteria of identity for word-types (...)
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  3. Natural Name Theory and Linguistic Kinds.J. T. M. Miller - 2019 - Journal of Philosophy 116 (9):494-508.
    The natural name theory, recently discussed by Johnson (2018), is proposed as an explanation of pure quotation where the quoted term(s) refers to a linguistic object such as in the sentence ‘In the above, ‘bank’ is ambiguous’. After outlining the theory, I raise a problem for the natural name theory. I argue that positing a resemblance relation between the name and the linguistic object it names does not allow us to rule out cases where the natural name fails to resemble (...)
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  4. Are All Primitives Created Equal?J. T. M. Miller - 2018 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 56 (2):273-292.
    Primitives are both important and unavoidable, and which set of primitives we endorse will greatly shape our theories and how those theories provide solutions to the problems that we take to be important. After introducing the notion of a primitive posit, I discuss the different kinds of primitives that we might posit. Following Cowling (2013), I distinguish between ontological and ideological primitives, and, following Benovsky (2013) between functional and content views of primitives. I then propose that these two distinctions cut (...)
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  5. The Non-Existence of Ontological Categories: A Defence of Lowe.J. T. M. Miller - 2016 - Metaphysica 17 (2).
    This paper addresses the ontological status of the ontological categories as defended within E.J. Lowe’s four-category ontology (kinds, objects, properties/relations, and modes). I consider the arguments in Griffith (2015. “Do Ontological Categories Exist?” Metaphysica 16 (1):25–35) against Lowe’s claim that ontological categories do not exist, and argue that Griffith’s objections to Lowe do not work once we fully take advantage of ontological resources available within Lowe’s four-category ontology. I then argue that the claim that ontological categories do not exist has (...)
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  6.  62
    Lexicalisation and the Origin of the Human Mind.Thomas J. Hughes & J. T. M. Miller - 2014 - Biosemiotics 7 (1):11-27.
    This paper will discuss the origin of the human mind, and the qualitative discontinuity between human and animal cognition. We locate the source of this discontinuity within the language faculty, and thus take the origin of the mind to depend on the origin of the language faculty. We will look at one such proposal put forward by Hauser et al. (Science 298:1569-1579, 2002), which takes the evolution of a Merge trait (recursion) to solely explain the differences between human and animal (...)
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  7. Language and Ontological Emergence.J. T. M. Miller - 2017 - Philosophica 91 (1):105-143.
    Providing empirically supportable instances of ontological emergence is notoriously difficult. Typically, the literature has focused on two possible sources. The first is the mind and consciousness; the second is within physics, and more specifically certain quantum effects. In this paper, I wish to suggest that the literature has overlooked a further possible instance of emergence, taken from the special science of linguistics. In particular, I will focus on the property of truth-evaluability, taken to be a property of sentences as created (...)
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  8. Can an Ontological Pluralist Really Be a Realist?J. T. M. Miller - 2016 - Metaphilosophy 47 (3):425-430.
    This article examines whether it is possible to uphold one form of deflationism towards metaphysics, ontological pluralism, whilst maintaining metaphysical realism. The focus therefore is on one prominent deflationist who fits the definition of an ontological pluralist, Eli Hirsch, and his self-ascription as a realist. The article argues that ontological pluralism is not amenable to the ascription of realism under some basic intuitions as to what a “realist” position is committed to. These basic intuitions include a commitment to more than (...)
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  9.  44
    Tim Button , The Limits of Realism . Reviewed By.J. T. M. Miller - 2014 - Philosophy in Review 34 (3-4):151-154.
  10.  38
    A Philosophical Guide to Chance.J. T. M. Miller - 2016 - Philosophical Quarterly 66 (262):pqv037.
  11.  38
    Eli Hirsch , Quantifier Variance and Realism: Essays in Metaontology . Reviewed By.J. T. M. Miller - 2013 - Philosophy in Review 33 (6):464-467.
    A review of Eli Hirsch, Quantifier Variance and Realism: Essays in Metaontology, Oxford University Press, 2011.
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  12. Realism, Truthmakers, and Language: A Study in Meta-Ontology and the Relationship Between Language and Metaphysics.J. T. M. Miller - 2014 - Dissertation, Durham University
    Metaphysics has had a long history of debate over its viability, and substantivity. This thesis explores issues connected to the realism question within the domain of metaphysics, ultimately aiming to defend a realist, substantive metaphysics by responding to so-called deflationary approaches, which have become prominent, and well supported within the recent metametaphysical and metaontological literature. To this end, I begin by examining the changing nature of the realism question. I argue that characterising realism and anti-realism through theories of truth unduly (...)
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