Results for 'Samuel C. Weston'

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  1. Neo-Davidsonian Metaphysics: From the True to the Good.Samuel C. Wheeler - 2013 - Routledge.
    Much contemporary metaphysics, moved by an apparent necessity to take reality to consist of given beings and properties, presents us with what appear to be deep problems requiring radical changes in the common sense conception of persons and the world. Contemporary meta-ethics ignores questions about logical form and formulates questions in ways that make the possibility of correct value judgments mysterious. In this book, Wheeler argues that given a Davidsonian understanding of truth, predication, and interpretation, and given a relativised version (...)
     
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  2.  32
    On Representational Capacities, with an Application to General Relativity.Samuel C. Fletcher - 2020 - Foundations of Physics 50 (4):228-249.
    Recent work on the hole argument in general relativity by Weatherall has drawn attention to the neglected concept of models’ representational capacities. I argue for several theses about the structure of these capacities, including that they should be understood not as many-to-one relations from models to the world, but in general as many-to-many relations constrained by the models’ isomorphisms. I then compare these ideas with a recent argument by Belot for the claim that some isometries “generate new possibilities” in general (...)
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  3.  32
    On the Reduction of General Relativity to Newtonian Gravitation.Samuel C. Fletcher - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 68:1-15.
    Intertheoretic reduction in physics aspires to be both to be explanatory and perfectly general: it endeavors to explain why an older, simpler theory continues to be as successful as it is in terms of a newer, more sophisticated theory, and it aims to relate or otherwise account for as many features of the two theories as possible. Despite often being introduced as straightforward cases of intertheoretic reduction, candidate accounts of the reduction of general relativity to Newtonian gravitation have either been (...)
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  4.  98
    Similarity, Topology, and Physical Significance in Relativity Theory.Samuel C. Fletcher - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (2):365-389.
    Stephen Hawking, among others, has proposed that the topological stability of a property of space-time is a necessary condition for it to be physically significant. What counts as stable, however, depends crucially on the choice of topology. Some physicists have thus suggested that one should find a canonical topology, a single ‘right’ topology for every inquiry. While certain such choices might be initially motivated, some little-discussed examples of Robert Geroch and some propositions of my own show that the main candidates—and (...)
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  5.  4
    The Existential Pleasures of Engineering.Samuel C. Florman - 1976 - St. Martin's Griffin.
    Humans have always sought to change their environment—building houses, monuments, temples, and roads. In the process, they have remade the fabric of the world into newly functional objects that are also works of art to be admired. In this second edition of his popular Existential Pleasures of Engineering, Samuel Florman explores how engineers think and feel about their profession. A deeply insightful and refreshingly unique text, this book corrects the myth that engineering is cold and passionless. Indeed, Florman celebrates (...)
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  6.  43
    The Principle of Stability.Samuel C. Fletcher - 2020 - Philosophers' Imprint 20.
    How can inferences from models to the phenomena they represent be justified when those models represent only imperfectly? Pierre Duhem considered just this problem, arguing that inferences from mathematical models of phenomena to real physical applications must also be demonstrated to be approximately correct when the assumptions of the model are only approximately true. Despite being little discussed among philosophers, this challenge was taken up by mathematicians and physicists both contemporaneous with and subsequent to Duhem, yielding a novel and rich (...)
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  7. The Doctrine of Doing and Allowing.Samuel C. Rickless - 1997 - Philosophical Review 106 (4):555-575.
    The various proponents of the DDA differ over how it should be understood. It might be thought that the distinction between doing and allowing reduces to the distinction between action and inaction. As against this, Philippa Foot has argued that some actions, such as pulling the plug on an artificial respirator, should be treated as “allowings.” On her view, the relevant distinction is primarily one between initiating or sustaining a harmful causal sequence, and allowing or enabling a harmful causal sequence (...)
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  8.  67
    Berkeley's Argument for Idealism.Samuel C. Rickless - 2013 - Oxford University Press.
    Samuel Rickless presents a new account of Berkeley's controversial argument, and suggests it is the philosopher's greatest legacy: not only is it valid, but it may well be sound.
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  9.  53
    Quantum indeterminacy and the eigenstate-eigenvalue link.Samuel C. Fletcher & David E. Taylor - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):1-32.
    Can quantum theory provide examples of metaphysical indeterminacy, indeterminacy that obtains in the world itself, independently of how one represents the world in language or thought? We provide a positive answer assuming just one constraint of orthodox quantum theory: the eigenstate-eigenvalue link. Our account adds a modal condition to preclude spurious indeterminacy in the presence of superselection sectors. No other extant account of metaphysical indeterminacy in quantum theory meets these demands.
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  10.  46
    Infinite Idealizations in Science: An Introduction.Samuel C. Fletcher, Patricia Palacios, Laura Ruetsche & Elay Shech - 2019 - Synthese 196 (5):1657-1669.
    We offer a framework for organizing the literature regarding the debates revolving around infinite idealizations in science, and a short summary of the contributions to this special issue.
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  11.  91
    Plato's Forms in Transition: A Reading of the Parmenides.Samuel C. Rickless - 2006 - Cambridge University Press.
    There is a mystery at the heart of Plato's Parmenides. In the first part, Parmenides criticizes what is widely regarded as Plato's mature theory of Forms, and in the second, he promises to explain how the Forms can be saved from these criticisms. Ever since the dialogue was written, scholars have struggled to determine how the two parts of the work fit together. Did Plato mean us to abandon, keep or modify the theory of Forms, on the strength of Parmenides' (...)
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  12.  92
    Changing Use of Formal Methods in Philosophy: Late 2000s Vs. Late 2010s.Samuel C. Fletcher, Joshua Knobe, Gregory Wheeler & Brian Allan Woodcock - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):14555-14576.
    Traditionally, logic has been the dominant formal method within philosophy. Are logical methods still dominant today, or have the types of formal methods used in philosophy changed in recent times? To address this question, we coded a sample of philosophy papers from the late 2000s and from the late 2010s for the formal methods they used. The results indicate that the proportion of papers using logical methods remained more or less constant over that time period but the proportion of papers (...)
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  13. Attributives and Their Modifiers.Samuel C. Wheeler - 1972 - Noûs 6 (4):310-334.
     
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  14.  45
    Light Clocks and the Clock Hypothesis.Samuel C. Fletcher - 2013 - Foundations of Physics 43 (11):1369-1383.
    The clock hypothesis of relativity theory equates the proper time experienced by a point particle along a timelike curve with the length of that curve as determined by the metric. Is it possible to prove that particular types of clocks satisfy the clock hypothesis, thus genuinely measure proper time, at least approximately? Because most real clocks would be enormously complicated to study in this connection, focusing attention on an idealized light clock is attractive. The present paper extends and generalized partial (...)
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  15.  18
    Similarity Structure and Emergent Properties.Samuel C. Fletcher - 2020 - Philosophy of Science 87 (2):281-301.
    The concept of emergence is commonly invoked in modern physics but rarely defined. Building on recent influential work by Jeremy Butterfield, I provide precise definitions of emergence concepts as they pertain to properties represented in models, applying them to some basic examples from space-time and thermostatistical physics. The chief formal innovation I employ, similarity structure, consists in a structured set of similarity relations among those models under analysis—and their properties—and is a generalization of topological structure. Although motivated from physics, this (...)
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  16.  88
    On That Which is Not.Samuel C. Wheeler - 1979 - Synthese 41 (2):155 - 173.
  17.  63
    The Dead Donor Rule: A Defense.Samuel C. M. Birch - 2013 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 38 (4):426-440.
    Miller, Truog, and Brock have recently argued that the “dead donor rule,” the requirement that donors be determined to be dead before vital organs are procured for transplantation, cannot withstand ethical scrutiny. In their view, the dead donor rule is inconsistent with existing life-saving practices of organ transplantation, lacks a cogent ethical rationale, and is not necessary for maintenance of public trust in organ transplantation. In this paper, the second of these claims will be evaluated. (The first and third are (...)
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  18. Locke on Active Power, Freedom, and Moral Agency.Samuel C. Rickless - 2013 - Locke Studies 13:31-52.
     
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  19.  35
    Would Two Dimensions Be World Enough for Spacetime?Samuel C. Fletcher, J. B. Manchak, Mike D. Schneider & James Owen Weatherall - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 63:100-113.
    We consider various curious features of general relativity, and relativistic field theory, in two spacetime dimensions. In particular, we discuss: the vanishing of the Einstein tensor; the failure of an initial-value formulation for vacuum spacetimes; the status of singularity theorems; the non-existence of a Newtonian limit; the status of the cosmological constant; and the character of matter fields, including perfect fluids and electromagnetic fields. We conclude with a discussion of what constrains our understanding of physics in different dimensions.
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  20. Locke on Primary and Secondary Qualities.Samuel C. Rickless - 1997 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 78 (3):297-319.
    In this paper, I argue that Book II, Chapter viii of Locke' Essay is a unified, self-consistent whole, and that the appearance of inconsistency is due largely to anachronistic misreadings and misunderstandings. The key to the distinction between primary and secondary qualities is that the former are, while the latter are not, real properties, i.e., properties that exist in bodies independently of being perceived. Once the distinction is properly understood, it becomes clear that Locke's arguments for it are simple, valid (...)
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  21.  2
    Deconstruction as Analytic Philosophy.Samuel C. Wheeler - 2000 - Stanford University Press.
    In this collection of essays Samuel Wheeler discusses Derrida and other “deconstructive” thinkers from the perspective of an analytic philosopher willing to treat deconstruction as philosophy, taking it seriously enough to look for and analyze its arguments. The essays focus on the theory of meaning, truth, interpretation, metaphor, and the relationship of language to the world. Wheeler links the thought of Derrida to that of Davidson and argues for close affinities among Derrida, Quine, de Man, and Wittgenstein. He also (...)
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  22.  16
    How (Not) to Measure Replication.Samuel C. Fletcher - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (2):1-27.
    The replicability crisis refers to the apparent failures to replicate both important and typical positive experimental claims in psychological science and biomedicine, failures which have gained increasing attention in the past decade. In order to provide evidence that there is a replicability crisis in the first place, scientists have developed various measures of replication that help quantify or “count” whether one study replicates another. In this nontechnical essay, I critically examine five types of replication measures used in the landmark article (...)
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  23.  33
    Counterfactual Reasoning Within Physical Theories.Samuel C. Fletcher - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 16):3877-3898.
    If one is interested in reasoning counterfactually within a physical theory, one cannot adequately use the standard possible world semantics. As developed by Lewis and others, this semantics depends on entertaining possible worlds with miracles, worlds in which laws of nature, as described by physical theory, are violated. Van Fraassen suggested instead to use the models of a theory as worlds, but gave up on determining the needed comparative similarity relation for the semantics objectively. I present a third way, in (...)
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  24.  78
    Is Shepherd's Pen Mightier Than Berkeley's Word?Samuel C. Rickless - 2018 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 26 (2):317-330.
    In 1827, Lady Mary Shepherd published Essays on the Perception of an External Universe, which offers both an argument for the existence of a world of external bodies existing outside our minds and a criticism of Berkeley's argument for idealism in A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge. In this paper, I evaluate Margaret Atherton's criticisms of Shepherd's case against Berkeley, and provide reasons for thinking that, although Shepherd's particular criticisms of Berkeley do not succeed, she correctly identifies an (...)
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  25.  16
    An Invitation to Approximate Symmetry, with Three Applications to Intertheoretic Relations.Samuel C. Fletcher - 2019 - Synthese 198 (5):4811-4831.
    Merely approximate symmetry is mundane enough in physics that one rarely finds any explication of it. Among philosophers it has also received scant attention compared to exact symmetries. Herein I invite further consideration of this concept that is so essential to the practice of physics and interpretation of physical theory. After motivating why it deserves such scrutiny, I propose a minimal definition of approximate symmetry—that is, one that presupposes as little structure on a physical theory to which it is applied (...)
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  26.  13
    C. Martin Wilbur, 1908-1997.Samuel C. Chu - 1999 - Chinese Studies in History 33 (1):39-40.
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  27.  90
    How Parmenides Saved the Theory of Forms.Samuel C. Rickless - 1998 - Philosophical Review 107 (4):501-554.
    Plato's Parmenides divides up into two main parts, the first ostensibly devoted to a series of criticisms launched by a venerable Parmenides against a theory of Forms previously articulated by a youthful Socrates, the second consisting of a virtually unbroken series of deductions to seemingly incompatible conclusions. As such, the dialogue poses a serious interpretative challenge, for it is unclear what conclusions Plato expected his readers to draw from both parts and how the conclusion of Part II is supposed to (...)
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  28. Is Locke’s Theory of Knowledge Inconsistent?Samuel C. Rickless - 2008 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 77 (1):83-104.
  29.  26
    The Role of Replication in Psychological Science.Samuel C. Fletcher - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-19.
    The replication or reproducibility crisis in psychological science has renewed attention to philosophical aspects of its methodology. I provide herein a new, functional account of the role of replication in a scientific discipline: to undercut the underdetermination of scientific hypotheses from data, typically by hypotheses that connect data with phenomena. These include hypotheses that concern sampling error, experimental control, and operationalization. How a scientific hypothesis could be underdetermined in one of these ways depends on a scientific discipline’s epistemic goals, theoretical (...)
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  30.  29
    Brief for an Inclusive Anti‐Canon.Samuel C. Rickless - 2018 - Metaphilosophy 49 (1-2):167-181.
    This article describes and defends an inclusive anti-canonical approach to the study of the history of philosophy. Its proposal, based on an analysis of the nature of the history of philosophy and the value of engaging in the practice, is this: The history of philosophy is the history of rationally justified, systematic answers to philosophical questions; studying this subject is both intrinsically and instrumentally valuable; these benefits do not derive from the imposition of a canon—indeed, there should be no canon; (...)
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  31. The Moral Status of Enabling Harm.Samuel C. Rickless - 2011 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 92 (1):66-86.
    According to the Doctrine of Doing and Allowing, it is more difficult to justify doing harm than it is to justify allowing harm. Enabling harm consists in withdrawing an obstacle that would, if left in place, prevent a pre-existing causal sequence from leading to foreseen harm. There has been a lively debate concerning the moral status of enabling harm. According to some (e.g. McMahan, Vihvelin and Tomkow), many cases of enabling harm are morally indistinguishable from doing harm. Others (e.g. Foot, (...)
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  32.  93
    Arms as Insurance.Samuel C. Wheeler - 1999 - Public Affairs Quarterly 13 (2):111-129.
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  33. The Right to Privacy Unveiled.Samuel C. Rickless - 2007 - San Diego Law Review 44 (1):773-799.
    The vast majority of philosophers and legal theorists who have thought about the issue agree that there is such a thing as a moral right to privacy. However, there is little or no theoretical consensus about the nature of this right. According to reductionists, the right to privacy amounts to nothing more than a cluster of property rights and rights over the person, and therefore plays no autonomous explanatory role in moral theory (Thomson 1975, Davis 1959). Among non-reductionists, there are (...)
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  34.  64
    Self-Defense: Rights and Coerced Risk-Acceptance.Samuel C. Wheeler - 1997 - Public Affairs Quarterly 11 (4):431-443.
  35.  8
    Attributives and Their Modifiers.Samuel C. Wheeler Iii - 1972 - Noûs 6 (4):310 - 334.
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  36.  8
    Moral Relativity.Samuel C. Wheeler Iii - 1987 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 47 (4):664-670.
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  37. The Cartesian Fallacy Fallacy.Samuel C. Rickless - 2005 - Noûs 39 (2):309-336.
    In this paper, I provide what I believe to be Descartes's own solution to the problem of the Cartesian Circle. As I argue, Descartes thinks he can have certain knowledge of the premises of the Third Meditation proof of God's existence and veracity (i.e., the 3M-Proof) without presupposing God's existence. The key, as Broughton (1984) once argued, is that the premises of the 3M-Proof are knowable by the natural light. The major objection to this "natural light" gambit is that Descartes (...)
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  38.  13
    Similarity Structure and Diachronic Emergence.Samuel C. Fletcher - 2020 - Synthese 198 (9):8873-8900.
    I provide a formally precise account of diachronic emergence of properties as described within scientific theories, extending a recent account of synchronic emergence using similarity structure on the theories’ models. This similarity structure approach to emergent properties unifies the synchronic and diachronic types by revealing that they only differ in how they delineate the domains of application of theories. This allows it to apply also to cases where the synchronic/diachronic distinction is unclear, such as spacetime emergence from theories of quantum (...)
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  39. Locke on the Freedom to Will.Samuel C. Rickless - 2000 - Locke Studies 31:43-68.
    In Book II, Chapter xxi of An essay concerning human understanding, Locke claims that a mind's will is its power 'to order the consideration of any Idea, or the forbearing to consider it; or to prefer the motion of any part of the body to its rest, and vice versa in any particular instance' (Il. xxi. 5).l To exercise this power (that is, to will), Locke says, is to perform an act of volition (or: willing), volitions being actions of the (...)
     
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  40. Moral Responsibility for Unwitting Omissions: A New Tracing View.Dana Kay Nelkin & Samuel C. Rickless - 2017 - In The Ethics and Law of Omissions. New York, NY, USA: pp. 106-129.
    Unwitting omissions pose a challenge for theories of moral responsibility. For commonsense morality holds many unwitting omitters morally responsible for their omissions (and for the consequences thereof), even though they appear to lack both awareness and control. For example, some people who leave dogs trapped in their cars outside on a hot day (see Sher 2009), or who forget to pick something up from the store as they promised (see Clarke 2014) seem to be blameworthy for their omissions. And yet, (...)
     
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  41. Plato’s Definition(s) of Sophistry.Samuel C. Rickless - 2010 - Ancient Philosophy 30 (2):289-298.
  42.  46
    Reference and Vagueness.Samuel C. Wheeler - 1975 - Synthese 30 (3-4):367--80.
  43. Three Cheers for Double Effect.Dana Kay Nelkin & Samuel C. Rickless - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (1):125-158.
    The doctrine of double effect, together with other moral principles that appeal to the intentions of moral agents, has come under attack from many directions in recent years, as have a variety of rationales that have been given in favor of it. In this paper, our aim is to develop, defend, and provide a new theoretical rationale for a secular version of the doctrine. Following Quinn (1989), we distinguish between Harmful Direct Agency and Harmful Indirect Agency. We propose the following (...)
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  44. Why and How to Fill an Unfilled Proposition.Samuel C. Rickless - 2012 - Theoria 78 (1):6-25.
    There are two major semantic theories of proper names: Semantic Descriptivism and Direct Reference. According to Semantic Descriptivism, the semantic content of a proper name N for a speaker S is identical to the semantic content of a definite description “the F” that the speaker associates with the name. According to Direct Reference, the semantic content of a proper name is identical to its referent. Semantic Descriptivism suffers from a number of drawbacks first pointed out by Donnellan (1970) and Kripke (...)
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  45.  34
    Derrida and the Economy of Differance.Samuel C. Wheeler Iii - 1986 - Philosophical Review 98 (2):273-275.
  46.  14
    The introduction of topology into analytic philosophy: two movements and a coda.Samuel C. Fletcher & Nathan Lackey - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-34.
    Both early analytic philosophy and the branch of mathematics now known as topology were gestated and born in the early part of the 20th century. It is not well recognized that there was early interaction between the communities practicing and developing these fields. We trace the history of how topological ideas entered into analytic philosophy through two migrations, an earlier one conceiving of topology geometrically and a later one conceiving of topology algebraically. This allows us to reassess the influence and (...)
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  47. Will and Motivation.Samuel C. Rickless - 2013 - In Peter R. Anstey (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of British Philosophy in the Seventeenth Century. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 393-414.
  48. So Close, Yet So Far: Why Solutions to the Closeness Problem for the Doctrine of Double Effect Fall Short.Dana Kay Nelkin & Samuel C. Rickless - 2015 - Noûs 49 (2):376-409.
    According to the classical Doctrine of Double Effect, there is a morally significant difference between intending harm and merely foreseeing harm. Versions of DDE have been defended in a variety of creative ways, but there is one difficulty, the so-called “closeness problem”, that continues to bedevil all of them. The problem is that an agent's intention can always be identified in such a fine-grained way as to eliminate an intention to harm from almost any situation, including those that have been (...)
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  49. Locke's 'Sensitive Knowledge': Knowledge or Assurance?Samuel C. Rickless - 2016 - Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy 7:187-224.
     
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  50. The Contrast‐Insensitivity of Knowledge Ascriptions.Samuel C. Rickless - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (3):533-555.
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