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Profile: Murali Ramachandran (University of Witwatersrand, University of the Witwatersrand)
  1. A Neglected Response to the Paradoxes of Confirmation.Murali Ramachandran - 2017 - South African Journal of Philosophy 36 (2):179-85.
    Hempel‘s paradox of the ravens, and his take on it, are meant to be understood as being restricted to situations where we have no additional background information. According to him, in the absence of any such information, observations of FGs confirm the hypothesis that all Fs are G. In this paper I argue against this principle by way of considering two other paradoxes of confirmation, Goodman‘s 'grue‘ paradox and the 'tacking‘ (or 'irrelevant conjunct‘) paradox. What these paradoxes reveal, I argue, (...)
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  2. Anti-Luminosity: Four Unsuccessful Strategies.Murali Ramachandran - 2009 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (4):659-673.
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  3.  82
    Knowledge-to-Fact Arguments (Bootstrapping, Closure, Paradox and KK).Murali Ramachandran - 2016 - Analysis 76 (2):142-149.
    The leading idea of this article is that one cannot acquire knowledge of any non-epistemic fact by virtue of knowing that one that knows something. The lines of reasoning involved in the surprise exam paradox and in Williamson’s _reductio_ of the KK-principle, which demand that one can, are thereby undermined, and new type of counter-example to epistemic closure emerges.
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  4. A Counterfactual Analysis of Causation.Murali Ramachandran - 1997 - Mind 106 (422):263-277.
    On David Lewis's original analysis of causation, c causes e only if c is linked to e by a chain of distinct events such that each event in the chain (counter-factually) depends on the former one. But this requirement precludes the possibility of late pre-emptive causation, of causation by fragile events, and of indeterministic causation. Lewis proposes three different strategies for accommodating these three kinds of cases, but none of these turn out to be satisfactory. I offer a single analysis (...)
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  5.  30
    Knowing by Way of Tracking and Epistemic Closure.Murali Ramachandran - 2015 - Analysis 75 (2):217-223.
    Tracking accounts of knowledge were originally motivated by putative counter-examples to epistemic closure. But, as is now well known, these early accounts have many highly counterintuitive consequences. In this note, I motivate a tracking-based account which respects closure but which resolves many of the familiar problems for earlier tracking account along the way.
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  6. Rigidity, Occasional Identity and Leibniz' Law.Simon Langford & Murali Ramachandran - 2000 - Philosophical Quarterly 50 (201):518-526.
    André Gallois (1998) attempts to defend the occasional identity thesis (OIT), the thesis that objects which are distinct at one time may nonetheless be identical at another time, in the face of two influential lines of argument against it. One argument involves Kripke’s (1971) notion of rigid designation and the other, Leibniz’s law (affirming the indiscernibility of identicals). It is reasonable for advocates of (OIT) to question the picture of rigid designation and the version of Leibniz’s law that these arguments (...)
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  7.  99
    How Believing Can Fail to Be Knowing.Murali Ramachandran - 2006 - Theoria 21 (2):185-194.
    This paper defends a simple, externalist account of knowledge, incorporating familiar conditions mentioned in the literature, and responds to Timothy Williamson’s charge that any such analysis is futile because knowledge is semantically un-analyzable. The response, in short, is that even though such an account may not offer a reductive analysis of knowledge-by way of more basic, non-circular concepts-it still has an explanatory advantage over Williamson’s own position: it explains how belief can fail to be knowledge.
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  8. A Counterfactual Analysis of Indeterministic Causation.Murali Ramachandran - 2004 - In J. Collins, E. J. Hall & L. A. Paul (eds.), Causation and Counterfactuals. MIT Press.
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  9. Contingent Identity in Counterpart Theory.Murali Ramachandran - 1990 - Analysis 50 (3):163-166.
    A slight modification to the translation scheme for David Lewis's counterpart theory I put forward in 'An Alternative Translation Scheme for Counterpart Theory' (Analysis 49.3 (1989)) is proposed. The motivation for this change is that it makes for a more plausible account of contingent identity. In particular, contingent identity is accommodated without admitting the contingency of self-identity.
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  10. The M-Set Analysis of Causation: Objections and Responses.Murali Ramachandran - 1998 - Mind 107 (426):465-471.
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  11.  67
    An Alternative Translation Scheme for Counterpart Theory.Murali Ramachandran - 1989 - Analysis 49 (3):131 - 141.
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  12. Descriptions and Pressupositions: Strawson Vs. Russell.Murali Ramachandran - 2008 - South African Journal of Philosophy 27 (3):242-257.
    A Russellian theory of (definite) descriptions takes an utterance of the form ‘The F is G' to express a purely general proposition that affirms the existence of a (contextually) unique F: there is exactly one F [which is C] and it is G. Strawson, by contrast, takes the utterer to presuppose in some sense that there is exactly one salient F, but this is not part of what is asserted; rather, when the presupposition is not met the utterance simply fails (...)
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  13.  40
    Unsuccessful Revisions of CCT.Murali Ramachandran - 1990 - Analysis 50 (3):173 - 177.
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  14. Williamson’s Argument Against the KK-Principle 157.Murali Ramachandran - 2005 - The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 1.
    Timothy Williamson (2000 ch. 5) presents a reductio against the luminosity of knowing, against, that is, the so-called KK-principle: if one knows p, then one knows (or is at least in a position to know) that one knows p.1 I do not endorse the principle, but I do not think Williamson’s argument succeeds in refuting it. My aim here is to show that the KK-principle is not the most obvious culprit behind the contradiction Williamson derives.
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  15.  97
    The Ambiguity Thesis Vs. Kripke's Defence of Russell: Further Developments.Murali Ramachandran & Nadja Rosental - 2000 - Philosophical Writings 14:49-57.
    Kripke (1977) presents an argument designed to show that the considerations in Donnellan (1966) concerning attributive and referential uses of (definite) descriptions do not, by themselves, refute Russell’s (1905) unitary theory of description sentences (RTD), which takes (utterances of) them to express purely general, quantificational, propositions. Against Kripke, Marga Reimer (1998) argues that the two uses do indeed reflect a semantic ambiguity (an ambiguity at the level of literal truth conditions). She maintains a Russellian (quantificational) analysis of utterances involving attributively (...)
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  16. Kripkean Counterpart Theory.Murali Ramachandran - 2008 - Polish Journal of Philosophy 2 (2):89-106.
    David Lewis’s counterpart-theoretic semantics for quantified modal logic is motivated originally by worries about identifying objects across possible worlds; the counterpart relation is grounded more cautiously on comparative similarity. The possibility of contingent identity is an unsought -- and in some eyes, unwelcome -- consequence of this approach. In this paper I motivate a Kripkean counterpart theory by way of defending the prior, pre-theoretical, coherence of contingent directness. Contingent identity follows for free. The theory is Kripkean in that the counterpart (...)
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  17.  65
    The Products of Fission, Fusion, and Teletransportation: An Occasional Identity Theorist's Perspective.Simon Langford & Murali Ramachandran - 2013 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (1):105 - 117.
    Advocates of occasional identity have two ways of interpreting putative cases of fission and fusion. One way?we call it the Creative view?takes fission to involve an object really dividing (or being replicated), thereby creating objects which would not otherwise have existed. The more ontologically parsimonious way takes fission to involve merely the ?separation? of objects that were identical before: strictly speaking, no object actually divides or is replicated, no new objects are created. In this paper we recommend the Creative approach (...)
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  18.  25
    Sortal Modal Logic and Counterpart Theory.Murali Ramachandran - 1998 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 76 (4):553 – 565.
  19.  63
    The KK-Principle, Margins for Error, and Safety.Murali Ramachandran - 2012 - Erkenntnis 76 (1):121-136.
    This paper considers, and rejects, three strategies aimed at showing that the KK-principle fails even in most favourable circumstances (all emerging from Williamson’s Knowledge and its Limits ). The case against the final strategy provides positive grounds for thinking that the principle should hold good in such situations.
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  20.  26
    Methodological Reflections on Two Kripkean Strategies.Murali Ramachandran - 1994 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 95:67 - 81.
    Aims. Saul Kripke’s (1977) argument defending Russell’s theory of (definite) descriptions (RTD) against the possible objection that Donnellan’s (1966) distinction between attributive and referential uses of descriptions marks a semantic ambiguity has been highly influential.1 Yet, as I hope you’ll be persuaded, Kripke’s line of reasoning— in particular, the ‘thought-experiment’ it involves—has not been duly explored. In section II, I argue that while Kripke’s argument does ward off a fairly ill-motivated ambiguity theory, it is far from clear whether it would (...)
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  21.  36
    Noordhof on Probabilistic Causation.Murali Ramachandran - 2000 - Mind 109 (434):309-313.
    In a recent article, Paul Noordhof (1999) has put forward an intriguing account of causation intended to work under the assumption of indeterminism. I am going to present four problems for the account, three which challenge the necessity of the conditions he specifies, and one which challenges their joint-sufficiency.
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  22.  53
    Occasional Identity: A Tale of Two Approaches.Simon Langford & Murali Ramachandran - 2011 - Analytic Philosophy 52 (3):175-187.
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  23.  9
    The Ambiguity Thesis Versus Kripke's Defence of Russell.Murali Ramachandran - 1996 - Mind and Language 11 (4):371-387.
    In his influential paper 'Speaker's Reference and Semantic Reference', Kripke defends Russell's theory of descriptions against the charge that the existence of referential and attributive uses of descriptions reflects a semantic ambiguity. He presents a purely defensive argument to show that Russell's theory is not refuted by the referential usage and a number of methodological considerations which apparently tell in favour of Russell's unitary theory over an ambiguity theory. In this paper, I put forward a case for the ambiguity theory (...)
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  24.  66
    On Restricting Rigidity.Murali Ramachandran - 1992 - Mind 101 (401):141-144.
    In this note I revive a lingering (albeit dormant) account of rigid designation from the pages of Mind with the aim of laying it to rest. Why let a sleeping dog lie when you can put it down? André Gallois (1986) has proposed an account of rigid designators that allegedly squares with Saul Kripke’s (1980) characterisation of them as terms which designate the same object in all possible worlds, but on which, contra Kripke, identity sentences involving rigid designators may be (...)
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  25.  31
    Restricted Rigidity: The Deeper Problem.Murali Ramachandran - 1993 - Mind 102 (405):157-158.
    André Gallois’ (1993) modified account of restrictedly rigid designators (RRDs) does indeed block the objection I made to his original account (Gallois 1986; Ramachandran 1992). But, as I shall now show, there is a deeper problem with his approach which his modification does not shake off. The problem stems from the truth of the following compatibility claim: (CC) A term’s restrictedly rigidly designating (RR-designating) an object x is compatible with it designating an object y in a world W where x (...)
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  26.  43
    Conditionals and Transitivity: Response to Lowe.Murali Ramachandran - 1992 - Analysis 52 (2):68 - 77.
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  27.  9
    How and Why I Arrived at a Topsy-Turvy Account of Even-Ifs.Murali Ramachandran - 2015 - South African Journal of Philosophy 34 (2):193-98.
    This note begins by retracing my roundabout route to a well-known, but widely dismissed, view of Even-if conditionals (Even-Ifs), namely, that they affirm their consequents, i.e. that [Even if A, C] entails [C]. The route also explains my reluctance to give up on that view in the face of prima facie overwhelming, countervailing linguistic evidence — evidence which has led most philosophers of conditionals to the rival view that Even-Ifs entail the corresponding Ifs: i.e. that [Even if A, C] entails (...)
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  28.  22
    For a (Revised) PCA-Analysis.Jonardon Ganeri, Paul Noordhof & Murali Ramachandran - 1998 - Analysis 58 (1):45–47.
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  29.  9
    A Puzzle About Conditionals.Murali Ramachandran - 2016 - South African Journal of Philosophy 35 (1):28-36.
    This paper examines a neglected puzzle about conditionals: namely, the fact that each of a pair of conditionals with incompatible consequents, [A > C] and [B > C*], may be properly affirmable in circumstances when one does not believe, and is not entitled to infer, the denial of the conjunction of the antecedents, i.e. ~(A & B). The puzzle is why this should be so, since the conditionals entail the conjunction on the popular accounts of conditionals. I present a pragmatic (...)
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  30. Interdeterministic Causation and Varieties of Chance-Raising.Murali Ramachandran - 2004 - In Phil Dowe & Paul Noordhof (eds.), Cause and Chance: Causation in an Indeterministic World. Routledge.
     
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  31.  43
    Bach on Behalf of Russell.Murali Ramachandran - 1995 - Analysis 55 (4):283 - 287.
    An utterance of a sentence involving an incomplete (definite) description, ‘the F’, where the context—even taking the speaker’s intentions into account—does not determine a unique F, would be unintelligible. But an utterance (in the same context) of the corresponding Russellian paraphrase would not be unintelligible. So I urged in ‘A Strawsonian objection to Russell’s theory of descriptions’ (ANALYSIS 53, 1993, pp. 209-12). I compared an utterance of (1) The table is covered with books. with an utterance of (1)’s Russellian paraphrase..
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  32.  23
    A Strawsonian Objection to Russell's Theory of Descriptions.Murali Ramachandran - 1993 - Analysis 53 (4):209 - 212.
    One of Strawson's objections to Russell's theory of descriptions is that what are intuitively natural and correct utterances of sentences involving incomplete descriptions come out false by RTD. Russellians have responded, not by challenging Strawson's view that these uses are natural and correct, but by embellishing RTD to accommodate these uses. I pursue an alternative line of attack: I argue that there are circumstances in which "we" would find utterances of such sentences unnatural and improper but "RTD" would sanction. So, (...)
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  33.  31
    Descriptions with an Attitude Problem.Murali Ramachandran - 2009 - Philosophical Quarterly 59 (237):721-723.
    It is well known that Russell's theory of descriptions has difficulties with descriptions occurring within desire reports. I consider a flawed argument from such a case to the conclusion that descriptions have a referring use, some responses to this argument on behalf of the Russellian, and finally rejoinders to these responses which press the point home.
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  34.  2
    How Believing Can Fail to Be Knowing.Murali Ramachandran - 2006 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 21 (2):185-194.
    This paper defends a simple, externalist account of knowledge, incorporating familiar conditions mentioned in the literature, and responds to Timothy Williamson’s charge that any such analysis is futile because knowledge is semantically un-analyzable. The response, in short, is that even though such an account may not offer a reductive analysis of knowledge-by way of more basic, non-circular concepts-it still has an explanatory advantage over Williamson’s own position: it explains how belief can fail to be knowledge.
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  35.  11
    The Rigidity of Proper Names.Murali Ramachandran - 1992 - Philosophical Studies 33:189-200.
  36.  13
    The Impossibility of Inverted Reasoners.Murali Ramachandran - 2010 - Acta Analytica 25 (4):499-502.
    An ‘inverted’ reasoner is someone who finds the inferences we find easy, inversely difficult, and those that we find difficult, inversely easy. The notion was initially introduced by Christopher Cherniak in his book, Minimal Rationality, and appealed to by Stephen Stich in The Fragmentation of Reason. While a number of difficulties have been noted about what reasoning would amount to for such a reasoner, what has not been brought out in the literature is that such a reasoner is in fact (...)
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  37.  15
    Sense and Schmidentity.Murali Ramachandran - 1989 - Philosophical Quarterly 39 (157):463-471.
  38.  4
    McDermott on Causation: A Counter-Example.Murali Ramachandran - 1996 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 74 (2):328 – 329.
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  39. Anti-Luminosity.Murali Ramachandran - manuscript
    Timothy Williamson (2000) reckons that hardly any mental state is luminous, i.e. is such that if one were in it, then one would invariably be in a position to know that one was. This paper examines an argument he presents against the luminosity of feeling cold, which he claims generalizes to other phenomenal states, such as e.g. being in pain. As we shall see, the argument fails. However, our deliberations do yield two anti-luminosity results: a simple refutation of the claim (...)
     
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  40. Ganeri's Defence of Russell (and the Path Back to Strawson).Murali Ramachandran - manuscript
    (1) The table is covered with books. (2) There is exactly one table and it is covered with books.
     
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  41. V—Methodological Reflections on Two Kripkean Strategies.Murali Ramachandran - 1995 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 95 (1):67-82.
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