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Scott Dixon
Lawrence University
  1. What Is the Well-Foundedness of Grounding?T. Scott Dixon - 2016 - Mind 125 (498):439-468.
    A number of philosophers think that grounding is, in some sense, well-founded. This thesis, however, is not always articulated precisely, nor is there a consensus in the literature as to how it should be characterized. In what follows, I consider several principles that one might have in mind when asserting that grounding is well-founded, and I argue that one of these principles, which I call ‘full foundations’, best captures the relevant claim. My argument is by the process of elimination. For (...)
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  2. Upward Grounding.T. Scott Dixon - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 97 (1):48-78.
    Realists about universals face a question about grounding. Are things how they are because they instantiate the universals they do? Or do they instantiate those universals because they are how they are? Take Ebenezer Scrooge. You can say that Scrooge is greedy because he instantiates greediness, or you can say that Scrooge instantiates greediness because he is greedy. I argue that there is reason to prefer the latter to the former. I develop two arguments for the view. I also respond (...)
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  3. Plural Slot Theory.T. Scott Dixon - 2018 - In Karen Bennett & Dean Zimmerman (eds.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics Volume 11. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 193-223.
    Kit Fine (2000) breaks with tradition, arguing that, pace Russell (e.g., 1903: 228), relations have neither directions nor converses. He considers two ways to conceive of these new "neutral" relations, positionalism and anti-positionalism, and argues that the latter should be preferred to the former. Cody Gilmore (2013) argues for a generalization of positionalism, slot theory, the view that a property or relation is n-adic if and only if there are exactly n slots in it, and (very roughly) that each slot (...)
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  4. Speaks's Reduction of Propositions to Properties: A Benacerraf Problem.T. Scott Dixon & Cody Gilmore - 2016 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 5 (3):275-284.
    Speaks defends the view that propositions are properties: for example, the proposition that grass is green is the property being such that grass is green. We argue that there is no reason to prefer Speaks's theory to analogous but competing theories that identify propositions with, say, 2-adic relations. This style of argument has recently been deployed by many, including Moore and King, against the view that propositions are n-tuples, and by Caplan and Tillman against King's view that propositions are facts (...)
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  5. Between Atomism and Superatomism.T. Scott Dixon - 2020 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 49 (6):1215-1241.
    There are at least three vaguely atomistic principles that have come up in the literature, two explicitly and one implicitly. First, standard atomism is the claim that everything is composed of atoms, and is very often how atomism is characterized in the literature. Second, superatomism is the claim that parthood is well-founded, which implies that every proper parthood chain terminates, and has been discussed as a stronger alternative to standard atomism. Third, there is a principle that lies between these two (...)
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    David Lewis (1941-2001).T. Scott Dixon - 2020 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    David Lewis David Lewis is an American philosopher and one of the last generalists, in the sense that he was one of the last philosophers who contributed to the great majority of sub-fields of the discipline. He made central contributions in metaphysics, the philosophy of language, the philosophy of mind, and probabilistic and practical … Continue reading David Lewis →.
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  7. Infinite Descent.T. Scott Dixon - 2020 - In Michael J. Raven (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Metaphysical Grounding. New York, USA: Routledge. pp. 244-58.
    Once one accepts that certain things metaphysically depend upon, or are metaphysically explained by, other things, it is natural to begin to wonder whether these chains of dependence or explanation must come to an end. This essay surveys the work that has been done on this issue—the issue of grounding and infinite descent. I frame the discussion around two questions: (1) What is infinite descent of ground? and (2) Is infinite descent of ground possible? In addressing the second question, I (...)
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  8.  50
    Review of Theodore Sider's The Tools of Metaphysics and the Metaphysics of Science. [REVIEW]T. Scott Dixon - 2021 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
  9. Relative Positionalism and Variable Arity Relations.T. Scott Dixon - 2019 - Metaphysics 2 (1):55-72.
    Maureen Donnelly’s (2016) relative positionalism correctly handles any fixed arity relation with any symmetry such a relation can have, yielding the intuitively correct way(s) in which that relation can apply. And it supplies an explanation of what is going on in the world that makes this the case. But it has at least one potential shortcoming — one that its opponents are likely to seize upon: it can only handle relations with fixed arities. It is unable to handle relations with (...)
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