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51. Res Philosophica: Volume > 91 > Issue: 3
Andrew J. Jaeger A Tale of Two Parts
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Joshua Spencer (2010) has recently used the problem of spatial intrinsics in conjunction with the possibility of extended atomic regions of space to argue against the possibility of extended heterogeneous simples. In part 1, I explain Spencer’s argument against the possibility of heterogeneous simples. In part 2, I argue that if his argument is sound, then a parody argument can be constructed showing that heterogeneous composite objects are also impossible. In part 3, I provide an objection to my parody argument. I then go on to argue that if this objection is successful, then Spencer’s argument is left susceptible to an analogous objection. In short, I argue that either Spencer has shown that composite and simple heterogeneous objects are impossible, or that Spencer’s argument against the possibility of extended heterogeneous simples (and my parody argument) is unsound.
52. Res Philosophica: Volume > 91 > Issue: 3
M. Oreste Fiocco On Simple Facts
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It is plausible that every true representation is made true by something in the world beyond itself. I believe that a simple fact is the truthmaker of each true proposition. Simple facts are not familiar entities. This lack of familiarity might lead many to regard them with suspicion, to think that including them in one’s ontology is an ad hoc maneuver. Although such suspicion is warranted initially, it is, I believe, ultimately unfounded. In this paper, I first present what I take to be the simplest argument for simple facts. I then clarify what a simple fact is supposed to be by elucidating the way in which such entities are simple and elaborating an account of their nature. The simplest argument for simple facts relies on a premise that is deeply plausible and yet not uncontroversial, so I present a second argument that forgoes this premise. The second argument is more subtle—and shows the relevance to this discussion of unity from complexity, a metaphysical notion of profound importance—and yet leads to the same conclusion: simple facts exist. I end by considering some concerns one might have regarding the existence of simple facts or the fundamental role that I maintain they have in making true our thoughts and claims about the world.
53. Res Philosophica: Volume > 91 > Issue: 3
Alisa Bokulich Metaphysical Indeterminacy, Properties, and Quantum Theory
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It has frequently been suggested that quantum mechanics may provide a genuine case of ontic vagueness or metaphysical indeterminacy. However, discussions of quantum theory in the vagueness literature are often cursory and, as I shall argue, have in some respects been misguided. Hitherto much of the debate over ontic vagueness and quantum theory has centered on the “indeterminate identity” construal of ontic vagueness, and whether the quantum phenomenon of entanglement produces particles whose identity is indeterminate. I argue that this way of framing the debate is mistaken. A more thorough examination of quantum theory and the phenomenon of entanglement reveals that quantum mechanics is best interpreted as supporting what I call the “vague property” construal of ontic vagueness, where vague properties are understood in terms of determinable properties without the corresponding determinates.
54. Res Philosophica: Volume > 91 > Issue: 3
Terence Cuneo The Significance of Liturgical Singing
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This is an essay on two topics—singing and liturgy—that lie well outside the standard repertoire of topics that form the subject matter of contemporary philosophy of religion, let alone Anglo-American philosophy more generally. Nonetheless, I maintain that thinking through the topic of liturgical singing can bear philosophical fruit. My discussion takes as its starting point the striking fact that the liturgies of Eastern Christianity are almost entirely sung. I explore the question why this would be especially fitting. The answer I offer draws upon recent work in philosophy of literature, collective action, and musical cognition, arguing that what I call the secondary form of the liturgy and its content mesh in such a way that, when an assembly sings the content of the liturgical script, it thereby instantiates important dimensions of its content.
55. Res Philosophica: Volume > 91 > Issue: 3
John Bishop Causal Pluralism and the Problem of Natural Agency
56. Res Philosophica: Volume > 91 > Issue: 3
Helen Beebee Radical Indeterminism and Top-Down Causation
57. Res Philosophica: Volume > 91 > Issue: 3
Joshua Spencer Two Thoughts on "A Tale of Two Parts"
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In “A Tale of Two Simples,” I presented an argument against the possibility of extended heterogeneous simples that relied on the possibility of extended atomic regions of space. Andrew Jaeger has presented a parody of one part of my argument for a clearly absurd conclusion. In this short paper, I defend my argument by showing that there is a significant disanalogy between my support for a key premise in my argument and Jaeger’s support for the corresponding premise in his parody argument. Also, in opposition to my previous position, I present a case against the possibility of extended atomic regions of space.
58. Res Philosophica: Volume > 91 > Issue: 3
Kris McDaniel Metaphysics, History, Phenomenology
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There are three interconnected goals of this paper. The first is to articulate and motivate a view of the methodology for doing metaphysics that is broadly phenomenological in the sense of Husserl circa the Logical Investigations. The second is to articulate an argument for the importance of studying the history of philosophy when doing metaphysics that is in accordance with this methodology. The third is to confront this methodology with a series of objections and determine how well it fares in light of them.
59. Res Philosophica: Volume > 91 > Issue: 3
Daniel Padgett, T. Ryan Byerly Reconstituting Ersatzer Presentism
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Presentists claim that only presently existing objects exist. One version of presentism is ersatzer presentism, according to which times are a kind of abstract object. Such a view is appealing because it affords the presentist an answer to the grounding objection—a potentially lethal objection to presentism. Despite this advantage, available versions of ersatzer presentism suffer from a heretofore unappreciated shortcoming: they cannot account for the truth of certain counterfactual claims about the past. We argue for this claim by considering two views representative of ersatzer presentism—those of Thomas Crisp and Craig Bourne. After presenting our arguments against their views, we defend two crucial assumptions in those arguments. Finally, we offer a novel version of ersatzer presentism that appropriates the metaphysics of constitution in order to avoid the difficulty that current ersatzer presentist views face.
60. Res Philosophica: Volume > 91 > Issue: 3
Randolph Clarke Agency and Incompatibilism