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Michael B. Burke
Indiana University Purdue University, Indianapolis
  1. Preserving the Principle of One Object to a Place: A Novel Account of the Relations Among Objects, Sorts, Sortals, and Persistence Conditions.Michael B. Burke - 1994 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 54 (3):591-624.
    This article offers a novel, conservative account of material constitution, one that incorporates sortal essentialism and features a theory of dominant sortals. It avoids coinciding objects, temporal parts, relativizations of identity, mereological essentialism, anti-essentialism, denials of the reality of the objects of our ordinary ontology, and other departures from the metaphysic implicit in ordinary ways of thinking. Defenses of the account against important objections are found in Burke 1997, 2003, and 2004, as well as in the often neglected six paragraphs (...)
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  2. Objects and Persons. [REVIEW]Michael B. Burke - 2002 - Philosophical Review 111 (4):586-588.
  3. Copper Statues and Pieces of Copper: A Challenge to the Standard Account.Michael B. Burke - 1992 - Analysis 52 (1):12 - 17.
    On the most popular account of material constitution, it is common for a material object to coincide precisely with one or more other material objects, ones that are composed of just the same matter but differ from it in sort. I argue that there is nothing that could ground the alleged difference in sort and that the account must be rejected.
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  4. Dion and Theon: An Essentialist Solution to an Ancient Puzzle.Michael B. Burke - 1994 - Journal of Philosophy 91 (3):129-139.
    Dion is a full-bodied man. Theon is that part of him which consists of all of him except his left foot. What becomes of Dion and Theon when Dion’s left foot is amputated? Employing the doctrine of sortal essentialism, I defend a surprising answer last defended by Chrysippus: that Dion survives while the seemingly unscathed Theon perishes. For replies to critics, see my publications of 1997 and (especially) 2004.
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  5. Is My Head a Person?Michael B. Burke - 2003 - In K. Petrus (ed.), On Human Persons. Heusenstamm Nr Frankfurt: Ontos Verlag. pp. 107-125.
    It is hard to see why the head and other brain-containing parts of a person are not themselves persons, or at least thinking, conscious beings. Some theorists have sought to reconcile us to the existence of thinking person-parts. Others have sought ways to avoid them, but have relied on radical theories at odds with the metaphysic implicit in ordinary ways of thinking. This paper offers a novel, conservative solution, one on which the heads and other brain-containing parts of persons do (...)
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  6. Dion, Theon, and the Many-Thinkers Problem.Michael B. Burke - 2004 - Analysis 64 (3):242–250.
    Dion is a full-bodied man. Theon is that part of him which consists of all of him except his left foot. What becomes of Dion and Theon when Dion’s left foot is amputated? In Burke 1994, employing the doctrine of sortal essentialism, I defended a surprising position last defended by Chrysippus: that Dion survives while the seemingly unscathed Theon perishes. This paper defends that position against objections by Stone, Carter, Olson, and others. Most notably, it offers a novel, conservative solution (...)
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  7. The Staccato Run: A Contemporary Issue in the Zenonian Tradition.Michael B. Burke - 2000 - Modern Schoolman 78 (1):1-8.
    The “staccato run,” in which a runner stops infinitely often while running from one point to another, is a prototypical “superfeat,” that is, a feat involving the completion in a finite time of an infinite sequence of distinct acts. There is no widely accepted demonstration that superfeats are impossible logically, but I argue here, contra Grunbaüm, that they are impossible dynamically. Specifically, I show that the staccato run is excluded by Newton’s three laws of motion, when those laws are supplemented (...)
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  8. Coinciding Objects: Reply to Lowe and Denkel.Michael B. Burke - 1997 - Analysis 57 (1):11–18.
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    Cohabitation, Stuff and Intermittent Existence.Michael B. Burke - 1980 - Mind 89 (355):391-405.
    I aim to show that there are cases in which an ordinary material object exists intermittently. Afterwards there are a few words about the consequences of acknowledging such cases, but what is of more interest is the route by which the conclusion is reached. When deciding among competing descriptions of the cases considered, I have tried to reduce to a minimum the role of intuitive judgment, and I have based several arguments on "metaphysical principles," two of which I have defended.
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    Persons and Bodies: How to Avoid the New Dualism.Michael B. Burke - 1997 - American Philosophical Quarterly 34 (4):457 - 467.
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  11. Hume and Edwards on 'Why is There Something Rather Than Nothing?'.Michael B. Burke - 1984 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 62 (4):355–362.
    Suppose that five minutes ago, to our astonishment, a healthy duck suddenly popped into existence on the table in front of us. Suppose further that there was no first time at which the duck existed but rather a last time, T, at which it had yet to exist. Then for each time t at which the duck has existed, there is an explanation of why the duck existed at t: there was a time t’ earlier than t but later than (...)
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    Tibbles the Cat: A Modern Sophisma.Michael B. Burke - 1996 - Philosophical Studies 84 (1):63 - 74.
    In this paper, I offer a novel, conservative solution to the puzzle of Tibbles the cat. I do not criticize the existing solutions or the theories within which they are embedded. I am content to offer an alternative, one that relies on the recently resurgent doctrine of Aristotelian essentialism. My solution, unlike some of its competitors, is applicable to the full range of cases in which, as with Tib and Tibbles, there is the threat of coinciding objects. In section 1, (...)
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    Unstated Premises.Michael B. Burke - 1985 - Informal Logic 7 (2).
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    Sortal Essentialism and the Potentiality Principle.Michael B. Burke - 1996 - Review of Metaphysics 49 (3):491 - 514.
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    Spatial Analogues of 'Annihilation and Re-Creation'.Michael B. Burke - 1985 - Analysis 45 (1):24 - 29.
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  16. Benardete's Paradox.Michael B. Burke - 1999 - Sorites 11:82-85.
    Graham Priest has focused attention on an intriguing but neglected paradox posed by José Benardete in 1964. Benardete viewed the paradox as a threat to the intelligibility of the spatial and temporal continua and offered several different versions of it. Priest has selected one of those versions and formalized it. Although Priest has succeeded nicely in sharpening the paradox, the version he chose to formalize has distracting and potentially problematic features that are absent from some of Benardete's other versions. I (...)
     
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  17.  50
    Essentialism and the Identity of Indiscernables.Michael B. Burke - 1983 - Philosophy Research Archives 9:223-243.
    The paper formulates and defends a version of the Identity of Indiscernibles and demonstrates that it entails a non-trivial version of the doctrine of essentialism.
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  18.  33
    The Impossibility of Superfeats.Michael B. Burke - 2000 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 38 (2):207-220.
    Is it logically possible to perform a "superfeat"? That is, is it logically possible to complete, in a finite time, an infinite sequence of distinct acts? In opposition to the received view, I argue that all physical superfeats have kinematic features that make them logically impossible.
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    Theodicy with a God of Limited Power: A Reply to McGrath.Michael B. Burke - 1986 - Analysis 47 (1):57 - 58.
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  20. Identity and Origin.Michael B. Burke - 1983 - Diálogos. Revista de Filosofía de la Universidad de Puerto Rico 18 (41):59.
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    Denying the Antecedent: A Common Fallacy?Michael B. Burke - 1994 - Informal Logic 16 (1).
    An argumentative passage that might appear to be an instance of denying the antecedent will generally admit of an alternative interpretation, one on which the conditional contained by the passage is a preface to the argument rather than a premise of it. On this interpretation. which generally is a more charitable one, the conditional plays a certain dialectical role and, in some cases, a rhetorical role as well. Assuming only a very weak principle of exigetical charity, I consider what it (...)
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    The Infinitistic Thesis.Michael B. Burke - 1984 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 22 (3):295-305.
  23.  4
    Hume and Edwards on ‘Why is There Something Rather Than Nothing?’.Michael B. Burke - 1988 - Philosophie Et Culture: Actes du XVIIe Congrès Mondial de Philosophie 3:241-245.
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    NABER on Embryo Splitting.Michael B. Burke - 1996 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 6 (2):210-211.
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    Electronic Media Review: Logic and Proofs. [REVIEW]Michael B. Burke - 2006 - Teaching Philosophy 29 (3):255-260.
    Logic and Proofs, developed at Carnegie Mellon, is the only instructional program that can support a computer-taught course in modern symbolic logic. First I provide a description and an assessment of the program. Then, drawing on my twenty years of experience, initially with Patrick Suppes’ Valid, recently with Logic and Proofs, I discuss the benefits and challenges, both sizable, when offering symbolic logic via a computer-taught course.
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  26. On the Possibility of Infinity Machines.Michael B. Burke - 1976 - Dissertation, The University of Wisconsin - Madison
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