Results for 'Possibility'

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  1. Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility.Harry G. Frankfurt - 1969 - Journal of Philosophy 66 (23):829.
    This essay challenges the widely accepted principle that a person is morally responsible for what he has done only if he could have done otherwise. The author considers situations in which there are sufficient conditions for a certain choice or action to be performed by someone, So that it is impossible for the person to choose or to do otherwise, But in which these conditions do not in any way bring it about that the person chooses or acts as he (...)
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  2. The Possibility of Naturalism: A Philosophical Critique of the Contemporary Human Sciences.Roy Bhaskar - 1979 - Routledge.
    Since its original publication in 1979, The Possibility of Naturalism has been one of the most influential works in contemporary philosophy of science and social science. It is a cornerstone of the critical realist position, which is now widely seen as offering a viable alternative to move positivism and postmodernism. This revised edition includes a new foreword.
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  3. The Possibility of Metaphysics: Substance, Identity, and Time.E. Jonathan Lowe - 1998 - Clarendon Press.
    Jonathan Lowe argues that metaphysics should be restored to a central position in philosophy, as the most fundamental form of inquiry, whose findings underpin those of all other disciplines. He portrays metaphysics as charting the possibilities of existence, by identifying the categories of being and the relations between them. He sets out his own original metaphysical system, within which he seeks to answer many of the deepest questions in philosophy. 'a very rich book... deserves to be read carefully by anyone (...)
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  4. The Possible and the Actual: Readings in the Metaphysics of Modality.Michael J. Loux (ed.) - 1979 - Cornell University Press.
    Preface In these days, an anthology on the topic of possible worlds hardly needs justification. No issue has given rise to as much literature in the past ...
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  5. Possible-Worlds Semantics for Modal Notions Conceived as Predicates.Volker Halbach, Hannes Leitgeb & Philip Welch - 2003 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 32 (2):179-223.
    If □ is conceived as an operator, i.e., an expression that gives applied to a formula another formula, the expressive power of the language is severely restricted when compared to a language where □ is conceived as a predicate, i.e., an expression that yields a formula if it is applied to a term. This consideration favours the predicate approach. The predicate view, however, is threatened mainly by two problems: Some obvious predicate systems are inconsistent, and possible-worlds semantics for predicates of (...)
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  6. Possible Worlds.John Divers - 2002 - Routledge.
    _Possible Worlds_ presents the first up-to-date and comprehensive examination of one of the most important topics in metaphysics. John Divers considers the prevalent philosophical positions, including realism, antirealism and the work of important writers on possible worlds such as David Lewis, evaluating them in detail.
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  7. Conceivability, Possibility, and the Mind-Body Problem.Katalin Balog - 1999 - Philosophical Review 108 (4):497-528.
    This paper was chosen by The Philosopher’s Annual as one of the ten best articles appearing in print in 2000. Reprinted in Volume XXIII of The Philosopher’s Annual. In his very influential book David Chalmers argues that if physicalism is true then every positive truth is a priori entailed by the full physical description – this is called “the a priori entailment thesis – but ascriptions of phenomenal consciousness are not so entailed and he concludes that Physicalism is false. As (...)
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  8. The Possibility of Altruism.Thomas Nagel - 1970 - Oxford Clarendon Press.
    Just as there are rational requirements on thought, there are rational requirements on action. This book defends a conception of ethics, and a related conception of human nature, according to which altruism is included among the basic rational requirements on desire and action. Altruism itself depends on the recognition of the reality of other persons, and on the equivalent capacity to regard oneself as merely one individual among many.
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  9. Possibility.Michael Jubien - 2009 - Oxford University Press.
    Possibility offers a new analysis of the metaphysical concepts of possibility and necessity, one that does not rely on any sort of "possible worlds." The analysis proceeds from an account of the notion of a physical object and from the positing of properties and relations. It is motivated by considerations about how we actually speak of and think of objects. Michael Jubien discusses several closely related topics, including different purported varieties of possible worlds, the doctrine of "essentialism," natural (...)
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  10. A Combinatorial Theory of Possibility.D. M. Armstrong - 1989 - Cambridge University Press.
    David Armstrong's book is a contribution to the philosophical discussion about possible worlds. Taking Wittgenstein's Tractatus as his point of departure, Professor Armstrong argues that nonactual possibilities and possible worlds are recombinations of actually existing elements, and as such are useful fictions. There is an extended criticism of the alternative-possible-worlds approach championed by the American philosopher David Lewis. This major work will be read with interest by a wide range of philosophers.
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  11. The Possibility of Knowledge.Quassim Cassam - 2007 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 74 (1):125-141.
    I focus on two questions: what is knowledge, and how is knowledge possible? The latter is an example of a how-possible question. I argue that how-possible questions are obstacle-dependent and that they need to be dealt with at three different levels, the level of means, of obstacle-removal, and of enabling conditions. At the first of these levels the possibility of knowledge is accounted for by identifying means of knowing, and I argue that the identification of such means also contributes (...)
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  12. Possibility of Metaphysics: Substance, Identity, and Time.E. J. Lowe - 1998 - Oxford University Press UK.
    Jonathan Lowe argues that metaphysics should be restored to a central position in philosophy, as the most fundamental form of rational inquiry, whose findings underpin those of all other disciplines. He portrays metaphysics as charting the possibilities of existence, by idetifying the categories of being and the relations of ontological dependency between entities of different categories. He proceeds to set out a unified and original metaphysical system: he defends a substance ontology, according to which the existence of the world s (...)
     
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  13. The Possibility of Practical Reason.David Velleman - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
    Suppose that we want to frame a conception of reasons that isn't relativized to the inclinations of particular agents. That is, we want to identify particular things that count as reasons for acting simpliciter and not merely as reasons for some agents rather than others, depending on their inclinations. One way to frame such a conception is to name some features that an action can have and to say that they count as reasons for someone whether or not he is (...)
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  14. Possible Worlds and the Objective World.Jeffrey Sanford Russell - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 90 (2):389-422.
    David Lewis holds that a single possible world can provide more than one way things could be. But what are possible worlds good for if they come apart from ways things could be? We can make sense of this if we go in for a metaphysical understanding of what the world is. The world does not include everything that is the case—only the genuine facts. Understood this way, Lewis's “cheap haecceitism” amounts to a kind of metaphysical anti-haecceitism: it says there (...)
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  15.  79
    Mere Possibilities: Metaphysical Foundations of Modal Semantics.Robert Stalnaker - 2012 - Princeton University Press.
    The book also sheds new light on the nature of metaphysical theorizing by exploring the interaction of semantic and metaphysical issues, the connections between different metaphysical issues, and the nature of ontological commitment.
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  16. The Possibility of Physicalism.Shamik Dasgupta - 2014 - Journal of Philosophy 111 (9-10):557-592.
    It has been suggested that many philosophical theses—physicalism, normative naturalism, phenomenalism, and so on—should be understood in terms of ground. Against this, Ted Sider (2011) has argued that ground is ill-suited for this purpose. Here I develop Sider’s objection and offer a response. In doing so I develop a view about the role of ground in philosophy, and about the content of these distinctively philosophical theses.
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  17. Concrete Possible Worlds.Phillip Bricker - 2008 - In Theodore Sider, John Hawthorne & Dean W. Zimmerman (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Metaphysics. Blackwell. pp. 111--134.
    In this chapter, I survey what I call Lewisian approaches to modality: approaches that analyze modality in terms of concrete possible worlds and their parts. I take the following four theses to be characteristic of Lewisian approaches to modality. (1) There is no primitive modality. (2) There exists a plurality of concrete possible worlds. (3) Actuality is an indexical concept. (4) Modality de re is to be analyzed in terms of counterparts, not transworld identity. After an introductory section in which (...)
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  18.  67
    Geometric Possibility.Gordon Belot - 2011 - Oxford University Press UK.
    Gordon Belot investigates the distinctive notion of geometric possibility that relationalists rely upon. He examines the prospects for adapting to the geometric case the standard philosophical accounts of the related notion of physical possibility, with particular emphasis on Humean, primitivist, and necessitarian accounts of physical and geometric possibility. This contribution to the debate concerning the nature of space will be of interest not only to philosophers and metaphysicians concerned with space and time, but also to those interested (...)
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  19. Possible Patterns.Jeffrey Sanford Russell & John Hawthorne - 2018 - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 11.
    “There are no gaps in logical space,” David Lewis writes, giving voice to sentiment shared by many philosophers. But different natural ways of trying to make this sentiment precise turn out to conflict with one another. One is a *pattern* idea: “Any pattern of instantiation is metaphysically possible.” Another is a *cut and paste* idea: “For any objects in any worlds, there exists a world that contains any number of duplicates of all of those objects.” We use resources from model (...)
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  20. The Possibility of Pragmatic Reasons for Belief and the Wrong Kind of Reasons Problem.Andrew Reisner - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 145 (2):257 - 272.
    In this paper I argue against the stronger of the two views concerning the right and wrong kind of reasons for belief, i.e. the view that the only genuine normative reasons for belief are evidential. The project in this paper is primarily negative, but with an ultimately positive aim. That aim is to leave room for the possibility that there are genuine pragmatic reasons for belief. Work is required to make room for this view, because evidentialism of a strict (...)
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  21. Theism, Possible Worlds, and the Multiverse.Klaas J. Kraay - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 147 (3):355 - 368.
    God is traditionally taken to be a perfect being, and the creator and sustainer of all that is. So, if theism is true, what sort of world should we expect? To answer this question, we need an account of the array of possible worlds from which God is said to choose. It seems that either there is (a) exactly one best possible world; or (b) more than one unsurpassable world; or (c) an infinite hierarchy of increasingly better worlds. Influential arguments (...)
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  22. Possible Worlds.Christopher Menzel - 2013 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    This article includes a basic overview of possible world semantics and a relatively comprehensive overview of three central philosophical conceptions of possible worlds: Concretism (represented chiefly by Lewis), Abstractionism (represented chiefly by Plantinga), and Combinatorialism (represented chiefly by Armstrong).
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  23.  83
    The Possibility of Judgment Aggregation on Agendas with Subjunctive Implications.Franz Dietrich - 2010 - Journal of Economic Theory 145 (2):603-638.
    The new …eld of judgment aggregation aims to …nd collective judgments on logically interconnected propositions. Recent impossibility results establish limitations on the possibility to vote independently on the propositions. I show that, fortunately, the impossibility results do not apply to a wide class of realistic agendas once propositions like “if a then b” are adequately modelled, namely as subjunctive implications rather than material implications. For these agendas, consistent and complete collective judgments can be reached through appropriate quota rules (which (...)
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  24. Possibly False Knowledge.Alex Worsnip - 2015 - Journal of Philosophy 112 (5):225-246.
    Many epistemologists call themselves ‘fallibilists’. But many philosophers of language hold that the meaning of epistemic usages of ‘possible’ ensures a close knowledge- possibility link : a subject’s utterance of ‘it’s possible that not-p’ is true only if the subject does not know that p. This seems to suggest that whatever the core insight behind fallibilism is, it can’t be that a subject could have knowledge which is, for them, possibly false. I argue that, on the contrary, subjects can (...)
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  25.  85
    Possibility Spaces and the Notion of Novelty: From Music to Biology.Maël Montévil - 2019 - Synthese 196 (11):4555-4581.
    We provide a new perspective on the relation between the space of description of an object and the appearance of novelties. One of the aims of this perspective is to facilitate the interaction between mathematics and historical sciences. The definition of novelties is paradoxical: if one can define in advance the possibles, then they are not genuinely new. By analyzing the situation in set theory, we show that defining generic (i.e., shared) and specific (i.e., individual) properties of elements of a (...)
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  26. Possible Worlds Semantics and Fiction.Diane Proudfoot - 2006 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 35:9-40.
    The canonical version of possible worlds semantics for story prefixes is due to David Lewis. This paper reassesses Lewis's theory and draws attention to some novel problems for his account.
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  27.  72
    Some Possibilities in Population Axiology.Teruji Thomas - 2018 - Mind 127 (507):807-832.
    It is notoriously difficult to find an intuitively satisfactory rule for evaluating populations based on the welfare of the people in them. Standard examples, like total utilitarianism, either entail the Repugnant Conclusion or in some other way contradict common intuitions about the relative value of populations. Several philosophers have presented formal arguments that seem to show that this happens of necessity: our core intuitions stand in contradiction. This paper assesses the state of play, focusing on the most powerful of these (...)
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  28.  5
    Possibilities and Paradox: An Introduction to Modal and Many-Valued Logic.J. C. Beall - 2003 - Oxford University Press.
    Extensively classroom-tested, Possibilities and Paradox provides an accessible and carefully structured introduction to modal and many-valued logic. The authors cover the basic formal frameworks, enlivening the discussion of these different systems of logic by considering their philosophical motivations and implications. Easily accessible to students with no background in the subject, the text features innovative learning aids in each chapter, including exercises that provide hands-on experience, examples that demonstrate the application of concepts, and guides to further reading.
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  29.  8
    Epistemic Possibility and the Necessity of Origin.Hane Htut Maung - 2020 - Metaphilosophy 51 (5):685-701.
    The necessity of origin suggests that a person’s identity is determined by the particular pair of gametes from which the person originated. An implication is that speculative scenarios concerning how we might otherwise have been had our gametic origins been different are dismissed as being metaphysically impossible. Given, however, that many of these speculations are intelligible and commonplace in the discourses of competent speakers, it is overhasty to dismiss them as mistakes. This paper offers a way of understanding these speculations (...)
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  30.  75
    The Possibility of Inquiry: Meno’s Paradox From Socrates to Sextus.Gail Fine - 2014 - Oxford University Press.
    Meno's Paradox from Socrates to Sextus Gail Fine. sense that they consider the issues it raises; and they argue, against its conclusion, that inquiry is possible. Like Plato and Aristotle, they also explain what makes inquiry possible; and they do ...
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  31. Epistemic Possibilities.Keith DeRose - 1991 - Philosophical Review 100 (4):581-605.
  32. Knowledge, Possibility, and Consciousness.John Perry - 2001 - MIT Press.
    A defense of antecedent physicalism, which argues against the idea that if everything that goes on in the universe is physical, our consciousness and feelings ..
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  33. Possible Worlds.Robert Stalnaker - 1976 - Noûs 10 (1):65-75.
  34.  21
    The Possibility of Altruism.John Benson - 1972 - Philosophical Quarterly 22 (86):82-83.
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  35. Multidimensional Possible-World Semantics for Conditionals.Richard Bradley - 2012 - Philosophical Review 121 (4):539-571.
    Adams’s Thesis, the claim that the probabilities of indicative conditionals equal the conditional probabilities of their consequents given their antecedents, has proven impossible to accommodate within orthodox possible-world semantics. This essay proposes a modification to the orthodoxy that removes this impossibility. The starting point is a proposal by Jeffrey and Stalnaker that conditionals take semantic values in the unit interval, interpreting these (à la McGee) as their expected truth-values at a world. Their theories imply a false principle, namely, that the (...)
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  36.  41
    A Possibility Theorem on Aggregation Over Multiple Interconnected Propositions.Christian List - 2003 - Mathematical Social Sciences 45 (1):1-13.
    Drawing on the so-called “doctrinal paradox”, List and Pettit (2002) have shown that, given an unrestricted domain condition, there exists no procedure for aggregating individual sets of judgments over multiple interconnected propositions into corresponding collective ones, where the procedure satisfies some minimal conditions similar to the conditions of Arrow’s theorem. I prove that we can avoid the paradox and the associated impossibility result by introducing an appropriate domain restriction: a structure condition, called unidimensional alignment, is shown to open up a (...)
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  37. The Possibility of Knowledge.Quassim Cassam (ed.) - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
    How is knowledge of the external world possible? How is knowledge of other minds possible? How is a priori knowledge possible? These are all examples of how-possible questions in epistemology. In this highly original book Quassim Cassam explains how such questions arise and how they should be answered.
     
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  38. How-Possibly Explanations in (Quantum) Computer Science.Michael E. Cuffaro - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (5):737-748.
    A primary goal of quantum computer science is to find an explanation for the fact that quantum computers are more powerful than classical computers. In this paper I argue that to answer this question is to compare algorithmic processes of various kinds and to describe the possibility spaces associated with these processes. By doing this, we explain how it is possible for one process to outperform its rival. Further, in this and similar examples little is gained in subsequently asking (...)
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  39.  96
    The Possibility of Collective Moral Obligations.Anne Schwenkenbecher - 2020 - In The Routledge Handbook on Collective Responsibility. New York: pp. 258-273.
    Our moral obligations can sometimes be collective in nature: They can jointly attach to two or more agents in that neither agent has that obligation on their own, but they – in some sense – share it or have it in common. In order for two or more agents to jointly hold an obligation to address some joint necessity problem they must have joint ability to address that problem. Joint ability is highly context-dependent and particularly sensitive to shared (or even (...)
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  40. Depression, Possibilities, and Competence: A Phenomenological Perspective. [REVIEW]Gerben Meynen - 2011 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 32 (3):181-193.
    Competent decision-making is required for informed consent. In this paper, I aim, from a phenomenological perspective, to identify the specific facets of competent decision-making that may form a challenge to depressed patients. On a phenomenological account, mood and emotions are crucial to the way in which human beings encounter the world. More precisely, mood is intimately related to the options and future possibilities we perceive in the world around us. I examine how possibilities should be understood in this context, and (...)
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  41. The Possibility of Virtue.Miguel Alzola - 2012 - Business Ethics Quarterly 22 (2):377-404.
    To have a virtue is to possess a certain kind of trait of character that is appropriate in pursuing the moral good at which the virtue aims. Human beings are assumed to be capable of attaining those traits. Yet, a number of scholars are skeptical about the very existence of such character traits. They claim a sizable amount of empirical evidence in their support. This paper is concerned with the existence and explanatory power of character as a way to assess (...)
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  42. Possibility and Conceivability: A Response-Dependent Account of Their Connections.Peter Menzies - 1998 - In Roberto Casati (ed.), European Review of Philosophy, Volume 3: Response-Dependence. Stanford: Csli Publications. pp. 255--277.
    In the history of modern philosophy systematic connections were assumed to hold between the modal concepts of logical possibility and necessity and the concept of conceivability. However, in the eyes of many contemporary philosophers, insuperable objections face any attempt to analyze the modal concepts in terms of conceivability. It is important to keep in mind that a philosophical explanation of modality does not have to take the form of a reductive analysis. In this paper I attempt to provide a (...)
     
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  43.  29
    Possibility and Consciousness in Husserl’s Thought.Andrea Zhok - 2016 - Husserl Studies 32 (3):213-235.
    Clarifying the nature of possibility is crucial for an evaluation of the phenomenological approach to ontology. From a phenomenological perspective, it is ontological possibility, and not spatiotemporal existence, that has pre-eminent ontological status. Since the sphere of phenomenological being and the sphere of experienceability turn out to be overlapping, this makes room for two perspectives. We can confer foundational priority to the acts of consciousness over possibilities, or to pre-set possibilities over the activity of consciousness. Husserl’s position on (...)
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  44.  83
    Possible Predicates and Actual Properties.Roy Cook - 2019 - Synthese 196 (7):2555-2582.
    In “Properties and the Interpretation of Second-Order Logic” Bob Hale develops and defends a deflationary conception of properties where a property with particular satisfaction conditions actually exists if and only if it is possible that a predicate with those same satisfaction conditions exists. He argues further that, since our languages are finitary, there are at most countably infinitely many properties and, as a result, the account fails to underwrite the standard semantics for second-order logic. Here a more lenient version of (...)
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  45.  81
    The Possibility of Preemptive Forgiving.Nicolas Cornell - 2017 - Philosophical Review 126 (2):241-272.
    This essay defends the possibility of preemptive forgiving, that is, forgiving before the offending action has taken place. This essay argues that our moral practices and emotions admit such a possibility, and it attempts to offer examples to illustrate this phenomenon. There are two main reasons why someone might doubt the possibility of preemptive forgiving. First, one might think that preemptive forgiving would amount to granting permission. Second, one might think that forgiving requires emotional content that is (...)
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  46.  41
    Possibilities of Perception.Jennifer Church - 2013 - Oxford University Press.
    Jennifer Church presents a new account of perception, which shows how imagining alternative perspectives and possibilities plays a key role in creating and validating experiences of self-evident objectivity. She explores the nature of moral perception and aesthetic perception, and argues that perception can be both literal and substantive.
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  47.  60
    Clarifying Possible Misconceptions in the Foundations of General Relativity.Harvey R. Brown & James Read - unknown
    We discuss what we take to be three possible misconceptions in the foundations of general relativity, relating to: the interpretation of the weak equivalence principle and the relationship between gravity and inertia; the connection between gravitational redshift results and spacetime curvature; and the Einstein equivalence principle and the ability to ``transform away" gravity in local inertial coordinate systems.
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  48.  69
    Alternate Possibilities and Moral Asymmetry.Daniel Coren - 2018 - Acta Analytica 33 (2):145-159.
    Harry Frankfurt Journal of Philosophy, 66, 829–39 famously attacked what he called the principle of alternate possibilities. PAP states that being able to do otherwise is necessary for moral responsibility. He gave counterexamples to PAP known since then as “Frankfurt cases.” This paper sidesteps the enormous literature on Frankfurt cases while preserving some of our salient pretheoretical intuitions about the relation between alternate possibilities and moral responsibility. In particular, I introduce, explain, and defend a principle that has so far been (...)
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  49. Reducing Possible Worlds to Language.Phillip Bricker - 1987 - Philosophical Studies 52 (3):331 - 355.
    The most commonly heard proposals for reducing possible worlds to language succumb to a simple cardinality argument: it can be shown that there are more possible worlds than there are linguistic entities provided by the proposal. In this paper, I show how the standard proposals can be generalized in a natural way so as to make better use of the resources available to them, and thereby circumvent the cardinality argument. Once it is seen just what the limitations are on these (...)
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  50. Possible Worlds for Modal Primitivists.Louis deRosset - 2014 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 43 (1):109-131.
    Among the most remarkable developments in metaphysics since the 1950’s is the explosion of philosophical interest in possible worlds. This paper proposes an explanation of what possible worlds are, and argues that this proposal, the interpreted models conception, should be attractive to anyone who thinks that modal facts are primitive, and so not to be explained in terms of some non-modal notion of “possible world.” I articulate three constraints on any acceptable primitivist explanation of the nature of possible worlds, and (...)
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