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John A. Keller
Saint Joseph's University of Pennsylvania
  1. Paraphrase, Semantics, and Ontology.John A. Keller - 2015 - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 9.
    Paraphrase is ubiquitous in philosophy, especially in discussions about ontological commitment. But should it be? Paraphrases are seldom accompanied by evidence that would convince, say, a linguist that the paraphrase and the paraphrased sentence have the same meaning. Indeed, from the perspective of linguistics, many paraphrases would seem to be nothing but bad jokes. For this reason, many philosophers have become deeply suspicious about paraphrase. I ague in this paper that this worry is misguided--that successful paraphrases do not need to (...)
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  2.  98
    Compositionality and Structured Propositions.Lorraine Juliano Keller & John A. Keller - 2013 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 2 (4):313-323.
    In this article, we evaluate the Compositionality Argument for structured propositions. This argument hinges on two seemingly innocuous and widely accepted premises: the Principle of Semantic Compositionality and Propositionalism (the thesis that sentential semantic values are propositions). We show that the Compositionality Argument presupposes that compositionality involves a form of building, and that this metaphysically robust account of compositionality is subject to counter-example: there are compositional representational systems that this principle cannot accommodate. If this is correct, one of the most (...)
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    Paraphrase and the Symmetry Objection.John A. Keller - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (2):365-378.
    There is a puzzle about the use of paraphrase in philosophy, presented most famously in Alston's [1958] ‘Ontological Commitments’, but found throughout the literature. The puzzle arises from the fact that a symmetry required for a paraphrase to be successful seems to necessitate a symmetry sufficient for a paraphrase to fail, since any two expressions that stand in the means the same as relation must also stand in the has the same commitments as relation. I show that, while this problem (...)
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  4.  31
    On Knockdown Arguments.John A. Keller - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (6):1205-1215.
    Nathan Ballantyne argues that the knockdown status of certain non-philosophical arguments can be transferred to arguments for substantive philosophical conclusions. Thus, if there are knockdown non-philosophical arguments, there are knockdown philosophical arguments. I show that Ballantyne’s argument is unsound, since arguments that are knockdown in non-philosophical contexts may become question-begging when used to argue for philosophical conclusions.
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  5.  89
    Being, Freedom, and Method: Themes From the Philosophy of Peter van Inwagen.John A. Keller (ed.) - 2017 - Oxford University Press UK.
    John Keller presents a set of new essays on ontology, time, freedom, God, and philosophical method. Our understanding of these subjects has been greatly advanced, since the 1970s, by the work of Peter van Inwagen. The contributions, from some of the most prominent living philosophers, engage with van Inwagen's work and offer new insights in metaphysics, philosophy of religion, and the philosophy of philosophy. Van Inwagen himself gives selective responses. In metaphysics, the volume will particularly interest philosophers working on free (...)
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  6.  43
    Paraphrase and the Doctrine of the Trinity.Joseph Jedwab & John A. Keller - 2019 - Faith and Philosophy.
    The Doctrine of the Trinity says that there is one God, that there are three divine Persons, and that each divine Person is God. The Logical Problem of the Trinity is that these claims seem logically inconsistent. We argue that any coherent and orthodox solution to the Logical Problem must use the technique of paraphrase: a logically or metaphysically more perspicuous reformulation. If so, discussions of paraphrase deserve more prominence in the literature on the Doctrine of the Trinity. We also (...)
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  7.  90
    Theological Anti-Realism.John A. Keller - 2014 - Journal of Analytic Theology 2:13-42.
    An "overview article" that (a) clarifies the nature of theological anti-realism and how that thesis should be formulated, and (b) negatively assesses some of the most common arguments for being a theological anti-realist.
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  8.  1
    Elliot Sober: The Design Argument.John A. Keller - 2020 - Faith and Philosophy 37 (2):258-264.
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  9.  15
    Philosophical Individualism.John A. Keller - 2017 - In Being, Freedom, and Method: Themes From the Philosophy of Peter van Inwagen. Oxford University Press.
    What does it take for an argument to be a success? Peter van Inwagen argues that an argument for conclusion c is one that, when ideally presented in the company of an ideal opponent, would be convincing to an audience of ideal neutral agnostics about c. He goes on to argue that, by this criterion, there are (almost certainly) no successful arguments for substantive philosophical conclusions. I outline several problems with both van Inwagen's account of success and the others in (...)
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