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Nathan Wildman
Tilburg University
  1. Against the Reduction of Modality to Essence.Nathan Wildman - 2018 - Synthese (Suppl 6):1-17.
    It is a truth universally acknowledged that a claim of metaphysical modality, in possession of good alethic standing, must be in want of an essentialist foundation. Or at least so say the advocates of the reductive-essence-first view, according to which all modality is to be reductively defined in terms of essence. Here, I contest this bit of current wisdom. In particular, I offer two puzzles—one concerning the essences of non-compossible, complementary entities, and a second involving entities whose essences are modally (...)
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  2. Modality, Sparsity, and Essence.Nathan Wildman - 2013 - Philosophical Quarterly 63 (253):760-782.
    Rather infamously, Kit Fine provided a series of counter‐examples which purport to show that attempts to understand essence in terms of metaphysical necessity are ‘fundamentally misguided’. Here, my aim is to put forward a new version of modalism that is, I argue, immune to Fine's counter‐examples. The core of this new modalist account is a sparseness restriction, such that an object's essential properties are those sparse properties it has in every world in which it exists. After first motivating this sparseness (...)
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  3. Fiction Unlimited.Nathan Wildman & Christian Folde - 2017 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 75 (1):73-80.
    We offer an original argument for the existence of universal fictions—that is, fictions within which every possible proposition is true. Specifically, we detail a trio of such fictions, along with an easy-to-follow recipe for generating more. After exploring several consequences and dismissing some objections, we conclude that fiction, unlike reality, is unlimited when it comes to truth.
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  4. How to Be a Modalist About Essence.Nathan Wildman - 2016 - In Mark Jago (ed.), Reality Making. Oxford University Press.
    Rather infamously, Kit Fine provided a series of counter-examples which purport to show that the modalist program of analysing essence in terms of metaphysical necessity is fundamentally misguided. Several would-be modalists have since responded, attempting to save the position from this Finean Challenge. This paper evaluates and rejects a trio of such responses, from Della Rocca, Zalta, and Gorman. But I’m not here arguing for Fine’s conclusion – ultimately, this is a fight amongst friends, with Della Rocca, Zalta, Gorman, and (...)
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    The Possibility of Empty Fictions.Nathan Wildman - 2019 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 77 (1):35-42.
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  6. Interactivity, Fictionality, and Incompleteness.Nathan Wildman & Richard Woodward - forthcoming - In Grant Tavinor & Jon Robson (eds.), The Aesthetics of Videogames. Routledge.
  7. On Shaky Ground?Nathan Wildman - 2018 - In Ricki Bliss & Graham Priest (eds.), Reality and its Structure. Oxford University Press.
    The past decade and a half has seen an absolute explosion of literature discussing the structure of reality. One particular focus here has been on the fundamental. However, while there has been extensive discussion, numerous fundamental questions about fundamentality have not been touched upon. In this chapter, I focus on one such lacuna about the modal strength of fundamentality. More specifically, I am interested in exploring the contingent fundamentality thesis - that is, the idea that the fundamentalia are only contingently (...)
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  8. Virtual Reality: Digital or Fictional?Neil McDonnell & Nathan Wildman - 2019 - Disputatio 11 (55):371-397.
    Are the objects and events that take place in Virtual Reality genuinely real? Those who answer this question in the affirmative are realists, and those who answer in the negative are irrealists. In this paper we argue against the realist position, as given by Chalmers, and present our own preferred irrealist account of the virtual. We start by disambiguating two potential versions of the realist position—weak and strong— and then go on to argue that neither is plausible. We then introduce (...)
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  9. Load Bare-Ing Particulars.Nathan Wildman - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (6):1419-1434.
    Bare particularism is a constituent ontology according to which substances—concrete, particular objects like people, tables, and tomatoes—are complex entities constituted by their properties and their bare particulars. Yet, aside from this description, much about bare particularism is fundamentally unclear. In this paper, I attempt to clarify this muddle by elucidating the key metaphysical commitments underpinning any plausible formulation of the position. So the aim here is primarily catechismal rather than evangelical—I don’t intend to convert anyone to bare particularism, but, by (...)
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    No Trouble with Poetic Licence: A Reply to Xhignesse.Nathan Wildman & Christian Folde - 2018 - British Journal of Aesthetics 58 (3):319-326.
    Recently, Xhignesse has argued that the principle of poetic licence, which roughly states that any class of propositions is true in some possible fiction, ought to be rejected. Here, we defend PPL from Xhignesse’s objection by demonstrating that, properly understood, his purported counter-example case is either irrelevant or unproblematic. The upshot is that Xhignesse has given us no reason to reject PPL.
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  11.  30
    A Note on Lange on Contingent Necessity-Makers.Nathan Wildman - 2021 - Erkenntnis 86 (3):763-771.
    Lange has argued that contingencies lack the modal strength to be necessity-makers. Here, I argue that Lange’s case turns upon a faulty premise, and that there is no obvious fixes he might pursue. The general upshot is that his argument gives us no reason to think that contingencies could not be necessity-makers after all.
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    Playing with Art in Suits’ Utopia.Nathan Wildman & Alfred Archer - 2019 - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 13 (3-4):456-470.
    ABSTRACTAccording to Bernard Suits, people in Utopia would spend their time playing games and would not spend any time creating or engaging with artworks. Here, we argue against this claim. We do s...
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  13. Grounding, Mental Causation, and Overdetermination.Michael J. Clark & Nathan Wildman - 2018 - Synthese 195 (8):3723-3733.
    Recently, Kroedel and Schulz have argued that the exclusion problem—which states that certain forms of non-reductive physicalism about the mental are committed to systematic and objectionable causal overdetermination—can be solved by appealing to grounding. Specifically, they defend a principle that links the causal relations of grounded mental events to those of grounding physical events, arguing that this renders mental–physical causal overdetermination unproblematic. Here, we contest Kroedel and Schulz’s result. We argue that their causal-grounding principle is undermotivated, if not outright false. (...)
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    A Note on Morato on Modality and Explanation.Nathan Wildman - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (5):967-974.
    This brief note critically assesses the central arguments in Morato’s recent contribution to the growing literature on Blackburn’s dilemma about necessity. In particular, I demonstrate that neither of Morato’s two novel reconstructions of the dilemma’s contingency horn succeed, since both turn on false premises; and, Morato fails to adequately motivate his own response to these reconstructions. The upshot is that Morato has set himself a pair of flawed problems, then offered a flawed solution.
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  15.  16
    Emotions in Sport and Games.Alfred Archer & Nathan Wildman (eds.) - 2020 - Routledge.
    Emotions play an important role in both sport and games, from the pride and joy of victory, the misery and shame of defeat, and the anger and anxiety felt along the way. This volume brings together experts in the philosophy of sport and games and experts in the philosophy of emotion to investigate this important area of research. The book discusses the role of the emotions for both participants and spectators of sports and games, including detailed discussions of suffering, shame, (...)
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  16.  1
    Distinctness, Contingentism, and the First-Order Being Constraint.Nathan Wildman - unknown - Australasian Journal of Logic 18 (4).
    In this note, I demonstrate that some basic principles concerning the metaphysics of distinctness force contingentists about first-order entities into denying the first-order being constraint.
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  17.  10
    Defending Explosive Universal Fictions.Nathan Wildman & Christian Folde - 2020 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 78 (2):238-242.
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  18.  17
    Don’T Stop Make-Believing.Nathan Wildman - 2019 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 46 (2):261-275.
    ABSTRACTHow is it that we can rationally assert that sport outcomes do not really matter, while also seeming to care about them to an absurd degree? This is the so-called puzzle of sport. The broadly Waltonian solution to the puzzle has it that we make-believe the outcomes matter. Recently, Stear has critiqued this Waltonian solution, raising a series of five objections. He has also leveraged these objections to motive his own contextualist solution to the puzzle. The aim of this paper (...)
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  19.  41
    Essential Properties - Analysis and Extension.Nathan Wildman - 2011 - Dissertation, Cambridge
  20. Familiar Objects and Their Shadows. By Crawford L. Elder. (Cambridge UP, 2011. Pp. Xi + 210. Price £50.00, $85.00 H/B.).Nathan Wildman - 2012 - Philosophical Quarterly 62 (246):195-197.
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    Potential Problems? Some Issues with Vetter's Potentiality Account of Modality.Nathan Wildman - 2020 - Philosophical Inquiry 8 (1):167-184.
    As Vetter says, we are at the “beginning of the debate, not the end” (2015: 300) when it comes to evaluating her potentiality-based account of metaphysical modality. This paper contributes to this developing debate by highlighting three problems for Vetter’s account. Specifically, I begin (§1) by articulating some relevant details of Vetter’s potentiality-based view. This leads to the first issue (§2), concerning unclarity in the idea of degrees of potentiality. Similarly, the second issue (§3) raises trouble for Vetter’s proposed individuation (...)
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  22. The Limits of Realism, by Tim Button. 264 + Xi P., Oxford University Press, Oxford 2013. [REVIEW]Nathan Wildman - 2014 - Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 68 (3):433-37.
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    The Puzzle of Virtual Theft.Nathan Wildman & Neil McDonnell - 2020 - Analysis 80 (3):493-499.
    How can you steal something that doesn’t exist? This question confronts those of us who take an irrealist view of virtual objects and agree with the Supreme Court of the Netherlands that robbery took place when two boys used non-virtual violence to coerce a third boy into relinquishing his virtual amulet and mask. Here we outline this Puzzle of Virtual Theft, along with the closely related Puzzle of Virtual Value. After demonstrating how these puzzles are deeply problematic for the irrealist, (...)
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    Writing the Book of the World, by Theodore Sider. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2011, Xiv + 318 Pp. ISBN 978-0-19-969790-8 $55.00. [REVIEW]Nathan Wildman - 2014 - European Journal of Philosophy 22 (S2):e21-e25.