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Philip Atkins
Temple University
  1. Essential Vs. Accidental Properties.Teresa Robertson & Philip Atkins - 2013 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    The distinction between essential versus accidental properties has been characterized in various ways, but it is currently most commonly understood in modal terms: an essential property of an object is a property that it must have, while an accidental property of an object is one that it happens to have but that it could lack. Let’s call this the basic modal characterization, where a modal characterization of a notion is one that explains the notion in terms of necessity/possibility. In the (...)
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  2. Are Gettier Cases Misleading?Philip Atkins - 2016 - Logos and Episteme 7 (3):379-384.
    The orthodox view in contemporary epistemology is that Edmund Gettier refuted the JTB analysis of knowledge, according to which knowledge is justified true belief. In a recent paper Moti Mizrahi questions the orthodox view. According to Mizrahi, the cases that Gettier advanced against the JTB analysis are misleading. In this paper I defend the orthodox view.
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  3.  73
    A Problem for the Closure Argument.Philip Atkins & Ian Nance - 2014 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 4 (1):36-49.
  4.  38
    Getting Gettier Right: Reply to Mizrahi.Philip Atkins - 2017 - Logos and Episteme 8 (3):347-357.
    Moti Mizrahi has argued that Gettier cases are misleading, since they involve a certain kind of semantic failure. In a recent paper, I criticized Mizrahi’s argument. Mizrahi has since responded. This is a response to his response.
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  5.  41
    A Russellian Account of Suspended Judgment.Philip Atkins - 2017 - Synthese 194 (8):3021-3046.
    Suspended judgment poses a serious problem for Russellianism. In this paper I examine several possible solutions to this problem and argue that none of them is satisfactory. Then I sketch a new solution. According to this solution, suspended judgment should be understood as a sui generis propositional attitude. By this I mean that it cannot be reduced to, or explained in terms of, other propositional attitudes, such as belief. Since suspended judgment is sui generis in this sense, sentences that ascribe (...)
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  6. Defending the Suberogatory.Philip Atkins & Ian Nance - 2015 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy (1):1-7.
    Ethicists generally agree that there are supererogatory acts, which are morally good, but not morally obligatory. It is sometimes claimed that, in addition to supererogatory acts, there are suberogatory acts, which are morally bad, but not morally impermissible. According to Julia Driver (1992), the distinction between impermissible acts and suberogatory acts is legitimate and unjustly neglected by ethicists. She argues that certain cases are best explained in terms of the suberogatory. Hallie Rose Liberto (2012) denies the suberogatory on the grounds (...)
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  7.  37
    Targeting Human Shields.Amir Saemi & Philip Atkins - 2018 - Philosophical Quarterly 68 (271):328-348.
    In this paper, we are concerned with the morality of killing human shields. Many moral philosophers seem to believe that knowingly killing human shields necessarily involves intentionally targeting human shields. If we assume that the distinction between intention and foresight is morally significant, then this view would entail that it is generally harder to justify a military operation in which human shields are knowingly killed than a military operation in which the same number of casualties result as a merely foreseen (...)
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  8. A Pragmatic Solution to Ostertag’s Puzzle.Philip Atkins - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 163 (2):359-365.
    Gary Ostertag has presented a new puzzle for Russellianism about belief reports. He argues that Russellians do not have the resources to solve this puzzle in terms of pragmatic phenomena. I argue to the contrary that the puzzle can be solved according to Nathan Salmon’s pragmatic account of belief reports, provided that the account is properly understood. Specifically, the puzzle can be solved so long as Salmon’s guises are not identified with sentences.
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  9.  64
    The Inessential Indexical: On the Philosophical Insignificance of Perspective and the First Person By Herman Cappelen and Josh Dever. [REVIEW]Philip Atkins - 2016 - Analysis 76 (1):99-102.
    Due largely to the influence of Perry (1979) and Lewis (1979), many philosophers now believe that certain attitudes are ‘essentially indexical’, and that this fact is philosophically significant. Going against the conventional wisdom, Cappelen and Dever (2013) (henceforth ‘C&D’) have two goals. The modest goal is to show that Perry, Lewis and their followers have failed to establish any clear ‘essential indexicality’ thesis. The ambitious goal is to show that indexicality is ‘shallow’, in that it does not play any interesting (...)
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  10.  33
    In Defense of Piecemeal Skepticism.Philip Atkins - 2017 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 7 (1):53-56.
    Anthony Brueckner and Jon Altschul suggest a version of skepticism according to which the skeptic posits a distinct skeptical hypothesis for each external world proposition that a person claims to know. In a recent issue of this journal, Eric Yang argues against this piecemeal approach. In this note, I show that Yang’s argument against piecemeal skepticism is fallacious.
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  11.  45
    How to Become an Enlightened Millian Heir.Philip Atkins - 2014 - Philosophia 42 (4):927-934.
    Tiddy Smith, Philosophia, 42, 173–179 has recently argued that there is an enlightenment problem for Millianism. In this paper I show that Smith’s argument rests on a misunderstanding, and that the enlightenment problem can be solved according to standard versions of Millianism. In fact, the problem can be solved according to Nathan Salmon’s version of Millianism, which is one of Smith’s main targets.
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  12.  65
    Unanswerable Questions for Everyone: Reply to Inan.Philip Atkins & Tim Lewis - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 161 (2):263-271.
    Millianism is the familiar view that some expressions, such as proper names, contribute only their referent to the semantic content of sentences in which they occur. Inan (Philosophical Studies 2010) has recently argued that the Millian is committed to the following odd conclusion: There may be questions that he is able to grasp but that he cannot answer, either affirmatively, negatively, or with a simple I don’t know . The Millian is indeed committed to this conclusion. But we intend to (...)
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  13. A Defense of Millian Descriptivism.Philip Atkins - 2013 - Dissertation, University of California at Santa Barbara
    Taken together with other plausible theses, Millianism has the counterintuitive consequence that the following belief reports have the same semantic content. (1a) Lois Lane believes that Superman flies. (1b) Lois Lane believes that Clark Kent flies. It has been popular, at least since the publication of Salmon's Frege's Puzzle (1986), to explain the presence of anti-Millian intuitions in terms of pragmatic phenomena. According to Salmon's account, (1a) and (1b) can be used to communicate distinct propositions, and this leads to the (...)
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