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Thomas Hofweber [55]T. Hofweber [3]
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Profile: Thomas Hofweber (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
  1. A Puzzle About Ontology.Thomas Hofweber - 2005 - Noûs 39 (2):256–283.
    Ontology is the philosophical discipline that tries to find out what there is: what entities make up reality, what is the stuff the world is made from? Thus, ontology is part of metaphysics, and in fact it seems to be about half of all of metaphysics. It tries to establish what (kinds of) things there are, the other half tries to find out what the (general) properties of these things are and what (general) relations they have to each other. Settling (...)
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  2. Ambitious, yet Modest, Metaphysics.Thomas Hofweber - 2009 - In David John Chalmers, David Manley & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press. pp. 260--289.
    There is a long history of worrying about whether or not metaphysics is a legitimate philosophical discipline. Traditionally such worries center around issues of meaning and epistemological concerns. Do the metaphysical questions have any meaning? Can metaphysical methodology lead to knowledge? But these questions are, in my opinion, not as serious as they have sometimes (historically) been taken to be. What is much more concerning is another set of worries about metaphysics, which I take to the greatest threat to metaphysics (...)
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  3. Functionalism at Forty: A Critical Retrospective.Thomas Hofweber & Paul M. Churchland - 2005 - Journal of Philosophy 102 (1):33 - 50.
  4.  12
    Amie L. Thomasson: Ontology Made Easy.Thomas Hofweber - 2017 - Journal of Philosophy 114 (9):498-502.
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  5. Number Determiners, Numbers, and Arithmetic.Thomas Hofweber - 2005 - Philosophical Review 114 (2):179-225.
    In his groundbreaking Grundlagen, Frege (1884) pointed out that number words like ‘four’ occur in ordinary language in two quite different ways and that this gives rise to a philosophical puzzle. On the one hand ‘four’ occurs as an adjective, which is to say that it occurs grammatically in sentences in a position that is commonly occupied by adjectives. Frege’s example was (1) Jupiter has four moons, where the occurrence of ‘four’ seems to be just like that of ‘green’ in (...)
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  6.  43
    Infinitesimal Chances.Thomas Hofweber - 2014 - Philosophers' Imprint 14.
    It is natural to think that questions in the metaphysics of chance are independent of the mathematical representation of chance in probability theory. After all, chance is a feature of events that comes in degrees and the mathematical representation of chance concerns these degrees but leaves the nature of chance open. The mathematical representation of chance could thus, un-controversially, be taken to be what it is commonly taken to be: a probability measure satisfying Kolmogorov’s axioms. The metaphysical questions about chance (...)
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  7.  90
    Innocent Statements and Their Metaphysically Loaded Counterparts.Thomas Hofweber - 2007 - Philosophers' Imprint 7:1-33.
    One puzzling feature of talk about properties, propositions and natural numbers is that statements that are explicitly about them can be introduced apparently without change of truth conditions from statements that don't mention them at all. Thus it seems that the existence of numbers, properties and propositions can be established`from nothing'. This metaphysical puzzle is tied to a series of syntactic and semantic puzzles about the relationship between ordinary, metaphysically innocent statements and their metaphysically loaded counterparts, statements that explicitly mention (...)
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  8. Empty Names, Fiction, and the Puzzles of Non-Existence.T. Hofweber & A. Everett (eds.) - 2000 - CSLI Publications.
    Philosophers and theorists have long been puzzled by humans' ability to talk about things that do not exist, or to talk about things that they think exist but, in fact, do not. _Empty Names, Fiction, and the Puzzles of Non-Existence_ is a collection of 13 new works concerning the semantic and metaphysical issues arising from empty names, non-existence, and the nature of fiction. The contributors include some of the most important researchers working in these fields. Some of the papers develop (...)
     
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  9. How to Endure.J. David Velleman & Thomas Hofweber - 2011 - Philosophical Quarterly 61 (242):37 - 57.
    The terms `endurance' and `perdurance' are commonly thought to denote distinct ways for an object to persist, but it is surprisingly hard to say what these are. The common approach, defining them in terms of temporal parts, is mistaken, because it does not lead to two coherent philosophical alternatives: endurance so understood becomes conceptually incoherent, while perdurance becomes not just true but a conceptual truth. Instead, we propose a different way to articulate the distinction, in terms of identity rather than (...)
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  10. The Meta-Problem of Change.Thomas Hofweber - 2009 - Noûs 43 (2):286 - 314.
    The problem of change plays a central role in the metaphysics of time and material objects, and whoever does best in solving this problem has a leg up when it comes to choosing a metaphysics of time and material objects. But whether this central role of the problem of change in metaphysics is legitimate is not at all clear. This is so in part since it is not clear what the problem of change is, and why it is a problem (...)
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  11.  72
    Supervenience and Object-Dependent Properties.Thomas Hofweber - 2005 - Journal of Philosophy 102 (1):5-32.
    I argue that the semantic thesis of direct reference and the meta- physical thesis of the supervenience of the non-physical on the physical cannot both be true. The argument first develops a necessary condition for supervenience, a so-called conditional locality requirement, which is then shown to be incompatible with some physical object having object dependent properties, which in turn is required for the thesis of direct reference to be true. We apply this argument to formulate a new argument against the (...)
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  12. Oxford Studies in Metaphysics.Thomas Hofweber - 2006
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  13.  89
    Conceptual Idealism Without Ontological Idealism: Why Idealism is True After All.Thomas Hofweber - forthcoming - In Tyron Goldschmidt & Kenneth Pearce (eds.), Idealism: new essays in metaphysics. Oxford University Press.
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  14.  17
    Précis of Ontology and the Ambitions of Metaphysics.Thomas Hofweber - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 94 (2):463-465.
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  15.  47
    How to Endure.Thomas Hofweber & J. David Velleman - unknown
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  16.  46
    Fine's Fragmentalist Interpretation of Special Relativity.Thomas Hofweber & Marc Lange - 2016 - Noûs 50 (4).
    In “Tense and Reality”, Kit Fine () proposed a novel way to think about realism about tense in the metaphysics of time. In particular, he explored two non-standard forms of realism about tense, arguing that they are to be preferred over standard forms of realism. In the process of defending his own preferred view, fragmentalism, he proposed a fragmentalist interpretation of the special theory of relativity, which will be our focus in this paper. After presenting Fine's position, we will raise (...)
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  17.  36
    Cardinality Arguments Against Regular Probability Measures.Thomas Hofweber - 2014 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 3 (2):166-175.
    Cardinality arguments against regular probability measures aim to show that no matter which ordered field ℍ we select as the measures for probability, we can find some event space F of sufficiently large cardinality such that there can be no regular probability measure from F into ℍ. In particular, taking ℍ to be hyperreal numbers won't help to guarantee that probability measures can always be regular. I argue that such cardinality arguments fail, since they rely on the wrong conception of (...)
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  18. Inexpressible Properties and Propositions.Thomas Hofweber - 2006 - In Dean Zimmerman (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics. Oxford University Press. pp. 155-206.
    Everyone working on metaphysical questions about properties or propositions knows the reaction that many non-philosophers, even nonmetaphysicians, have to such questions. Even though they agree that Fido is a dog and thus has the property (or feature or characteristic) of being a dog, it seems weird, suspicious, or confused to them to now ask what that thing, the property of being a dog, is. The same reservations do not carry over to asking what this thing, Fido, is. There is a (...)
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  19.  55
    Contemporary Aristotelian Metaphysics, by Tuomas E. Tahko.Thomas Hofweber - 2016 - Mind 125 (497):231-235.
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  20.  19
    Rayo's The Construction of Logical Space.Thomas Hofweber - 2014 - Inquiry : An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 57 (4):442-454.
    I wonder which one in a series of characters Agustín Rayo really is, with an emphasis on objective correctness and semantics.
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  21.  15
    Extraction, Displacement, and Focus.Thomas Hofweber - 2014 - Linguistics and Philosophy 37 (3):263-267.
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  22.  53
    Inferential Role and the Ideal of Deductive Logic.Thomas Hofweber - 2010 - The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 5 (1).
    There is a substantial question in the philosophy of language whether understanding a language involves knowledge of some metalinguistic facts about words. Does understanding a language in part consist in knowing what the words in that language mean? Most of the debate about this topic is carried out in the philosophy of language proper, where it seems to belong.1 But recently a subculture of philosophers has emerged who have argued that one of the lessons we must draw from issues in (...)
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  23. Quantification and Non-Existent Objects.Thomas Hofweber - 2000 - In T. Hofweber & A. Everett (eds.), Empty Names, Fiction, and the Puzzles of Non-Existence. CSLI Publications.
  24. Schiffer's New Theory of Propositions. [REVIEW]Thomas Hofweber - 2006 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (1):211–217.
    Every fifteen years or so Stephen Schiffer writes a state of the art book on the philosophy of language, with special emphasis on belief ascriptions, meaning, and propositions. The latest is his terrific new book The Things we Mean. It is again full of ideas, insights, arguments, expositions, and theories. For us, however, who believe that that-clauses are first and foremost clauses, not referring expressions, and that they thus do not refer to propositions or anything else, The Things we Mean (...)
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  25. Is Subjectivity Required in a Material World?Thomas Hofweber - unknown
    An under-explored intermediate position between traditional materialism and traditional idealism is the view that although the spatiotemporal world is purely material, minds nonetheless have a metaphysically special place in it. One such intermediate position is that minds must exist, by metaphysical necessity, in any material world, and thus a mindless material world is impossible. This position, labeled The Subjectivity Thesis by Anton Friedrich Koch, was defended by him with an intriguing, purely metaphysical argument that is largely neglected in the contemporary (...)
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  26.  61
    How Metaphysics is Special: Comments on Bennett.Thomas Hofweber - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (1):39-48.
    Karen Bennett argues that there is no distinct problem with metaphysics, and she proposes a disjunctive conception of the subject matter of metaphysics. This paper critically examines her arguments and positive view. I defend that metaphysics prima facie is distinctly problematic, and I raise some questions about Bennett’s disjunctive conception of the subject matter of metaphysics and the a priori aspect of its methodology.
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  27.  52
    Validity, Paradox, and the Ideal of Deductive Logic.Thomas Hofweber - 2007 - In J. C. Beall (ed.), Revenge of the Liar: New Essays on the Paradox. Oxford University Press.
    I express my dissatisfaction with the common ways to treat the semantic paradoxes. Not only do they give rise to revenge paradoxes, they ignore the wisdom contained in the ordinary reaction to paradoxes. I instead propose an account that vindicates the ordinary reaction to paradox by putting the blame on us philosophers. It is the wrong conception of what a valid inference is, one that is central to “the ideal of deductive logic” that gives rise to the problem. The solution (...)
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  28.  3
    Supervenience and Object-Dependant Properties.Thomas Hofweber - 2005 - Journal of Philosophy 102 (1):5-32.
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  29.  34
    Review of "Deflating Existential Consequence: A Case for Nominalism" by Jody Azzouni. [REVIEW]Thomas Hofweber - 2007 - Philosophical Review 116 (3):465-467.
    As the title says, this is a book review of Azzouni’s book. I complain that Azzouni proposes an answer to a question, but it is unclear what question he is trying to answer.
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  30.  21
    Review of "Conceptions of Truth" by Wolfgang Künne. [REVIEW]T. Hofweber - 2005 - Philosophical Review 114 (1):136-138.
    This review mostly discusses Künne's positive proposal about truth, his Modest Account. In particular, I discuss propositional quantification, which is required for Künne's formulation of the Modest Account, and under what conditions this kind of quantification is acceptable. I argue that it requires a view of propositions which he rejects,.
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  31. Review of "Philosophy of Mathematics: An Introduction to the World of Proofs and Pictures" by James Robert Brown. [REVIEW]Thomas Hofweber - 2001 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 52 (2):413-416.
  32. Logic and Ontology.Thomas Hofweber - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    A number of important philosophical problems are problems in the overlap of logic and ontology. Both logic and ontology are diverse fields within philosophy, and partly because of this there is not one single philosophical problem about the relation between logic and ontology. In this survey article we will first discuss what different philosophical projects are carried out under the headings of "logic" and "ontology" and then we will look at several areas where logic and ontology overlap.
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  33.  4
    Conceptions of Truth.Thomas Hofweber - 2005 - Philosophical Review 114 (1):136-138.
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  34.  70
    Proof-Theoretic Reduction as a Philosopher's Tool.Thomas Hofweber - 2000 - Erkenntnis 53 (1-2):127-146.
    Hilbert’s program in the philosophy of mathematics comes in two parts. One part is a technical part. To carry out this part of the program one has to prove a certain technical result. The other part of the program is a philosophical part. It is concerned with philosophical questions that are the real aim of the program. To carry out this part one, basically, has to show why the technical part answers the philosophical questions one wanted to have answered. Hilbert (...)
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  35.  24
    The Place of Subjects in the Metaphysics of Material Objects.Thomas Hofweber - 2015 - Dialectica 69 (4):473-490.
    An under-explored intermediate position between traditional materialism and traditional idealism is the view that although the spatiotemporal world is purely material, minds nonetheless have a metaphysically special place in it. One way this can be is via a special role that subjects have in the metaphysics of material objects. Some metaphysical aspect of material objects might require the existence of subjects. This would support that minds must exist if material objects exist and thus that a mindless material world is impossible. (...)
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  36.  1
    Dickie's Epistemic Theory of Reference.Thomas Hofweber - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 95 (3):725-730.
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  37.  5
    Fine's Fragmentalist Interpretation of Special Relativity.Thomas Hofweber & Marc Lange - 2016 - Noûs:871-883.
    In “Tense and Reality”, Kit Fine () proposed a novel way to think about realism about tense in the metaphysics of time. In particular, he explored two non-standard forms of realism about tense, arguing that they are to be preferred over standard forms of realism. In the process of defending his own preferred view, fragmentalism, he proposed a fragmentalist interpretation of the special theory of relativity, which will be our focus in this paper. After presenting Fine's position, we will raise (...)
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  38.  36
    Extraction, Displacement, and Focus: A Reply to Balcerak Jackson.Thomas Hofweber - unknown
    On the one hand they seem to be quite obviously truth conditionally equivalent, but on the other hand they seem to be about different things. Whereas (1) is about Jupiter and its moons, (2) is about numbers. In particular, the word ‘four’ appears in (1) in the position of an adjective or determiner, whereas it seems to be a name for a number in (2). Furthermore, (2) appears to be an identity statement claiming that what two number terms stand for (...)
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  39. Inferential Role and the Ideal of Deductive Logic.Thomas Hofweber - 2009 - Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 5 (1).
    Although there is a prima facie strong case for a close connection between the meaning and inferential role of certain expressions, this connection seems seriously threatened by the semantic and logical paradoxes which rely on these inferential roles. Some philosophers have drawn radical conclusions from the paradoxes for the theory of meaning in general, and for which sentences in our language are true. I criticize these overreactions, and instead propose to distinguish two conceptions of inferential role. This distinction is closely (...)
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  40.  12
    Hyperreal-Valued Probability Measures Approximating a Real-Valued Measure.Thomas Hofweber & Ralf Schindler - 2016 - Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 57 (3):369-374.
    We give a direct and elementary proof of the fact that every real-valued probability measure can be approximated—up to an infinitesimal—by a hyperreal-valued one which is regular and defined on the whole powerset of the sample space.
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  41.  68
    From Remnants to Things, and Back Again.Thomas Hofweber - manuscript
    forthcoming in Meanings and other Things: essays on Stephen Schiffer Gary Ostertag (ed.) MIT Press 2007. Schiffer substantially changed his view about propositions and that-clauses somewhere between his two most recent books: Remnants of Meaning and The Things We Mean. I look at what problems his earlier view had, and what reason Schiffer gives for giving it up in favor of his more recent view. I argue that Schiffer’s reasons are not very good reasons, and that instead the problems for (...)
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  42.  62
    Contextualism and the Meaning-Intention Problem.Thomas Hofweber - unknown
    The relevant alternatives approach in epistemology1 arose some years ago partly out of the hope to be able to reconcile our ordinary claims of knowledge with our inability to answer the skeptic. It was supposed to give rise to an account of knowledge according to which our ordinary claims of knowledge are true, even though the claims about our lack of knowledge that the skeptics make in one of their more persuasive moments are also true. To know, according to such (...)
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  43.  3
    Intellectual Humility and the Limits of Conceptual Representation.Thomas Hofweber - 2016 - Res Philosophica 93 (3):553-565.
    This paper investigates the connection of intellectual humility to a somewhat neglected form of a limitation of human knowledge—a limitation in which facts or truths we human beings can in principle represent conceptually. I consider some arguments for such a limitation, and argue that, under standard assumptions, the sub-algebra hypothesis is the best hypothesis about how the facts we can represent relate to the ones that we can not. This hypothesis has a consequence for intellectual humility in that it supports (...)
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  44.  52
    Encuneral Noun Phrases.Thomas Hofweber & Jeff Pelletier - manuscript
    The semantics of noun phrases (NPs) is of crucial importance for both philosophy and linguistics. Throughout much of the history of the debate about the semantics of noun phrases there has been an implicit assumption about how they are to be understood. Basically, it is the assumption that NPs come only in two kinds. In this paper we would like to make that assumption explicit and discuss it and its status in the semantics of natural language. We will have a (...)
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  45.  2
    Schiffer’s New Theory of Propositions.Thomas Hofweber - 2006 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (1):211-217.
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  46.  5
    A Subject with No Subject with No Object.Thomas Hofweber - 2001 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 62 (3):723.
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  47.  14
    Review of John P. Burgess, Mathematics, Models, and Modality: Selected Philosophical Essays[REVIEW]Thomas Hofweber - 2010 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2010 (1).
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  48.  10
    A Subject with No Object.Thomas Hofweber - 2001 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 62 (3):723-727.
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  49.  3
    Deflating Existential Consequence: A Case for Nominalism.Thomas Hofweber - 2007 - Philosophical Review 116 (3):465-467.
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  50. Reviews-Philosophy of Mathematics: An Introduction to the World of Proofs and Pictures.James Robert Brown & Thomas Hofweber - 2001 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 52 (2):413.
     
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