Lawrence Brian Lombard a a Wayne State University. To link to this article:

Save this PDF as:
 WORD  PNG  TXT  JPG

Size: px
Start display at page:

Download "Lawrence Brian Lombard a a Wayne State University. To link to this article:"

Transcription

1 This article was downloaded by: [Wayne State University] On: 29 August 2011, At: 05:20 Publisher: Routledge Informa Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: Registered office: Mortimer House, Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK Australasian Journal of Philosophy Publication details, including instructions for authors and subscription information: Events, counterfactuals, and speed Lawrence Brian Lombard a a Wayne State University Available online: 02 Jun 2006 To cite this article: Lawrence Brian Lombard (1992): Events, counterfactuals, and speed, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 70:2, To link to this article: PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE Full terms and conditions of use: terms-and-conditions This article may be used for research, teaching and private study purposes. Any substantial or systematic reproduction, re-distribution, reselling, loan, sub-licensing, systematic supply or distribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden. The publisher does not give any warranty express or implied or make any representation that the contents will be complete or accurate or up to date. The accuracy of any instructions, formulae and drug doses should be independently verified with primary sources. The publisher shall not be liable for any loss, actions, claims, proceedings, demand or costs or damages whatsoever or howsoever caused arising directly or indirectly in connection with or arising out of the use of this material.

2 Australian Journal of Philosophy Vol. 70, No. 2; June 1992 EVENTS, COUNTERFACTUALS, AND SPEED Lawrence Brian Lombard I. Introduction Recently, Jonathan Bennett has stressed the idea that counterfactual claims about events bear important relations to claims concerning the properties that events have essentially. 1 This idea is surely correct. If, had a certain condition, C, not been met, an event, e, would have occurred anyway, then it is not essential to e that C be met. And if e has a property, F, essentially, then if e had lacked F, it would not have occurred. To illustrate this idea, Bennett presents an argument which, if sound, would show that an event could have occurred more quickly than it in fact did. Actually, there are at least two senses in which it might be said that an event could have occurred more quickly than it actually did. In one sense, to say that an event could have occurred more quickly than it in fact did is to say that it could have been the case that, though the event began to occur at the very same time at which it in fact began to occur, it ended at a time earlier than it in fact did. In this sense, an event that could have occurred more quickly than it in fact did is an event that could have occurred over a shorter period of time than it actually did. A second sense in which it might be said that an event could have occurred more quickly than it in fact did is one in which it is possible that, though an event occurs over the same stretch of time at which it in fact occurred, it occurs more frenetically. Suppose, for example, that Bennett waved his hand for a period of ten seconds, his wave being composed of several sub-waves. If that very wave of his hand could have been composed of more and, perhaps, different sub-waves, then instead of the wave's being composed of, say, three left-to-right motions and two right-to-left motions it might have been composed of six left-to-right motions and five right-to-left motions. In such a case, while Bennett's wave still took ten seconds to complete, there is a clear sense in which Bennett waved more quickly than he actually did. In his argument for the claim that an event could have occurred more quickly than it in fact did, Bennett does not distinguish between these two senses of 'more quickly'. But I think that it does not matter. Nothing in Bennett's argument for that claim hangs on the distinction. If his argument established that an event J. Bennett, 'Event Causation: The Counterfactual Analysis', J. E. Tomberlin (ed.), Philosophical Perspectives, I: Metaphysics, 1987 (Atascadero~ CA: Ridgeview Publishing Company, 1987), pp (hereafter referred to as ~Event Causation'). See also Bennetfs book, Events and Their Names (Indianapolis: Hackett, 1988), p

3 Lawrence Brian Lombard 188 could have occurred more quickly than it in fact did in the first of the two senses l distinguished, it would also establish that an.event could have occurred more quickly than it in fact did in the second. And my comments on Bennett's argument will apply, I believe, regardless of which sense of 'more quickly' was intended. Therefore, I shall, in what follows, be indifferent to the distinction. I shall refer indifferently to the two inessentialist theses that an event could have occurred more quickly than it in fact did as 'Quicker' and indifferently to the essentialist theses that an event could not have occurred more quickly than it in fact did as 'No-Quicker'. In this paper, I argue that Bennett's argument, as initially formulated, is invalid, and that it thus fails to be an illustration of the connection between certain counterfactuals and certain essentialist claims about events. I also show that, when siapplemented in a way that makes it valid, Bennett's argument cannot be sound, and hence, that it fails to be a demonstration of the view that an event can occur more quickly (in either sense) than it in fact does. 2 II. Bennett's Argument a Bennett's argument, Argument (Q), for Quicker occurs in the following passage: Suppose that at noon precisely I wave my fight hand, and someone makes the statement S: If that hand wave had not occurred, the auctioneer wouldn't have thought you were bidding. Now, if I had waved my right hand a fraction faster than I actually did... the auctioneer would still have thought I was bidding; so if S is to come out true, those possible waves must count as the wave I actually did. That implies that my actual wave could have been a bit faster... than it was...4 This argument for Quicker seems to have the following two premises: (1) if the hand wave that Bennett actually produced hadn't occurred, the auctioneer would not have thought that Bennett was bidding, and 2 Both versions of Quicker are largely independent of the inessentialist view that an event could have occurred earlier than it in fact did (in the sense of both beginning and ending before it in fact began). There is also, I think, a sense of 'Bennett's hand wave could have occurred more quickly than it actually did' which is inconsistent with the thesis of the essentiality of 'wholly earlier', a thesis for which I argued in my Events: A Metaphysical Study (London: Routledge, 1985), pp And I defend my view against the view of David Lewis's that it is inconsistent with the counterfactual analysis of event causation in 'Causes, Enablers, and the Counterfactual Analysis', Philosophical Studies, 59 (1990) pp If it is this latter inessentialist view that Bennett's argument (Q) is directed at, then this paper is also a defence of the essentiality of 'Not Wholly Earlier'. 3 Since the argument to be discussed seems to be intended by Bennett only as an illustration of the connection between certain counterfactuals and essentialist claims about events, it is not clear whether Bennett actually endorses its anti-essentialist conclusion. Bennett, of course, must think the argument valid; otherwise he could not think it to be an illustration of what he takes it to be an illustration of. In light of this latter point, I shall refer to the argument as Bennett's. What is perhaps unclear is whether or not Bennett endorses the argument's premises. 4 'Event Causation', p. 369; the argument is repeated in Events and Their Names, p. 55.

4 189 Events. Counterfactuals. and Speed (2) if Bennett had (just once) waved his right hand a bit faster than he actually did, the auctioneer would still have thought that he was bidding. And the reasoning that is supposed to lead from (1) and (2) to the intended conclusion is this. (2) says that, had there occurred some right hand wave or other by Bennett that was slightly faster than his actual hand wave, the auctioneer would still have thought that Bennett was bidding. But if (2) is true, and an event cannot occur even a bit more quickly than it does, then (1) could not be true, for the occurrence of one of those possible waves would have made the auctioneer think that Bennett was bidding. So, (1) and (2) can both be true only if one or other of those possible hand waves - the ones such that, had one of them occurred it would have been slightly faster than Bennett's actual hand wave and would have made the auctioneer think that Bennett was bidding - would have been Bennett's actual hand wave. Therefore, since Bennett's actual hand wave could have been one of those faster waves, it could have occurred more quickly than it actually did. III. (Q) Needs Another Premise (Q) is invalid, for the truth of(l) and (2) is compatible with No-Quicker, the claim that an event cannot occur more quickly than it actually does. If an argument from (1) and (2) to Quicker is to be valid, another premise must be added. Here is the reason for this. A counterfactual of the form, 'If it were the case that p, then it would be the case that r', is true at, say, the actual world if and only if the closest to the actual world of all the possible worlds in which it is the case that p are also worlds in which it is the case that r. That is, all the closest p-worlds are r-worlds. ~ The possible worlds relevant to the evaluation of a counterfactual of that form are not given in advance; they are determined by its antecedent. Once the worlds in which its antecedent is true are determined (the p-worlds), one then determines, in part on the basis of some standards of world-closeness, and in part on the basis of the facts about the actual world, which of those p-worlds are 'closest' to the actual world. Let 'P' be the claim that Bennett's actual hand wave does not occur, and 'Q' the claim that Bennett (just once) waves his right hand a bit more quickly than he actually does. The worlds relevant to the evaluation of (1), then, are the P-worlds, the 'no actual hand wave' worlds, while the worlds relevant to the evaluation of (2) are the Q-worlds, the 'faster hand wave' worlds. It is obvious that there are possible worlds that are both P-worlds and Q- worlds, possible worlds in which Bennett's actual hand wave does not occur and in which Bennett (just once) waves his right hand a bit faster than he actually does. But that fact is not sufficient to generate a contradiction from (1), (2), and In Stalnaker's counterfactual logic, there is only one closest p-world; in David Lewis's, there may be more than one. In this paper, I will be assuming that something like the account of counterfactuals offered by either Lewis or Robert Stalnaker is true. Bennett appears to assume so as well; see Events and Their Names, pp. 54f.

5 Lawrence Brian Lombard 190 the claim that Bennett's actual hand wave could not have been a faster hand wave. (Q)'s validity requires that there be a possible world that is both a closest P-world and a closest Q-world. To see this, suppose that, contrary to (Q)'s conclusion, an event cannot occur more quickly than it actually does. And let us suppose that (1) and (2) are true. Let us also make the further supposition embodying the additional assumption just mentioned: (3) there is a possible world that is both a closest P-world and a closest Q- world. The claim that no event can occur more quickly that it in fact does, No- Quicker, implies that every closest world in which (2)'s antecedent, Q, is true is a world in which (1)'s antecedent, P, is true. And that, together with (3) (and the claim that there is at least one closest Q-world), implies that there is a world, w, that is not only a closest Q-world but is also a closest P-world. But now we have a world, w, that is a world closest to the actual world in which the antecedents of(l) and (2) are jointly true. Given the truth of(l) and (2), such a world is one in which the consequents of both (1) and (2) are also true. But that is impossible, since (1)'s consequent, in saying that the auctioneer does not think that Bennett made a bid, and (2)'s consequent, in saying that the auctioneer does think that Bennett made a bid, contradict each other. So if (1), (2), (3), and No-Quicker were true, a contradiction would be true. And (Q), supplemented by (3), concludes that it is the essentialist thesis No-Quicker that should be given up to restore consistency. (3), or something very much like it, must be assumed, 6 for (1) and (2) do not by themselves entail (Q)'s anti-essentialist conclusion. For if (3) is not true, we could have a possible world that is (i) a world closest to the actual world in which Bennett (just once) waves his right hand a bit faster than he actually does, (ii) a world in which Bennett's actual hand wave does not occur, but (iii) not a world closest to the actual world in which Bennett's actual hand wave does not occur. But, even if all that were so, we would still have no reason think that there is a world which is both a closest P-world and a closest Q-world. And if we have no reason to think that, then we have no reason to think that any of the worlds No-Quicker says there are -- worlds that are closest to the actual world in which Bennett's actual hand wave does not occur and are such that in them Bennett (just once) waves his hand more quickly than he actually does -- are worlds in which a contradiction is true. IV. Can the Premises All be True? The argument from (1), (2), and (3) to the claim that an event can occur more quickly than it does -- Argument (Q+) -- is indeed valid. And (Q+) would establish its anti-essentialist conclusion, if its premises could all be true. But it can be shown that the premises cannot all be true. 8 In 'Event Causation', p. 378, Bennett seems explicitly to assume something like (3) in order to deduce another contradiction.

6 191 Events, CounterfactuMs, and Speed Since (Q+) is valid, (1), (2), and (3) cannot be held consistently with No- Quicker. This, of course, is obvious. But, the defender of Quicker can take no comfort in this, tor it can also be shown that (1), (2), and (3) are not consistent with (Q+)'s anti-essentialist conclusion either! (2) says that if some hand wave or other of Bennett's had occurred and been a slightly laster hand wave than his actual hand wave, the auctioneer would still have thought that Bennett was bidding. So understood, (2) is eminently plausible. There are many actions that Bennett could have performed -- waved his left hand, pulled on his ear, nodded --all of which are standardly taken by auctioneers to express a wish to bid, and are such that had Bennett performed any of them, the auctioneer would have taken him to have made a bid. (2) is more than reasonable, and I shall hereafter regard it as true. Suppose that it is true that some closest P-world, w, is also a closest Q-world. In w, Bennett's actual hand wave does not occur. Since w is also a closest Q- world, w is a closest world in which Bennett waves his hand a bit more quickly than he actually does. But then how is one who believes that Bennett's hand wave could have been a slightly faster hand wave to justify belief in (1)? The only reason one could have for thinking that, in a closest P-world, the auctioneer does not think that Bennett made a bid is that in such a world Bennett does nothing at all to indicate a bid; in particular, he keeps his hand in his lap. If Bennett's actual hand wave could have been a slightly faster wave, then in those worlds in which the actual hand wave does not occur, none of those faster ones, with which the actual one could have been identical, occurs either. But how can that be, if there is a closest world in which he waves his hand a bit faster than he actually does that is also a closest world in which Bennett's actual hand wave does not occur? If (2) is true, then no one who accepts Quicker can accept both (1) and (3). Putting this result together with that of the previous section, it can be seen that, given the truth of (2), from (1) and (3) one can deduce not only the falsity of No- Quicker, but also the falsity of Quicker. So, if one accepts (2), which seems perfectly reasonable, one cannot accept both (1) and (3). Thus, the problem cannot be with the thesis that an event cannot occur more quickly than it in fact does. The problem~ given (2), must be with (1) and (3); they cannot both be true. And here's why. According to (3), there is a world closest to the actual world in which Bennett (just once) waves his hand a bit faster than he actually does, that is also a world closest to the actual world in which his actual hand wave does not occur. But according to (2), the closest 'faster hand wave' worlds are worlds in which the auctioneer believes that Bennett made a bid. But then no such world can be a world closest to the actual world in which Bennett's actual hand wave does not occur; for, if (1) is true, in such worlds the auctioneer does not believe that Bennett made a bid. So, anyone who accepts (2) must reject either (1) or (3). The problem with (1) and (3), given (2), is that, while (3) pulls together the closest worlds in which Bennett's actual hand wave does not occur and the closest worlds in which Bennett waves his hand a bit faster than he actually does,

7 Lawrence Brian Lombard 192 (1) pushes such worlds apart. Given the truth of (2), (1) and (3) cannot both be believed to be true by anybody. So, why is it thought that (Q+) is a problem for the No-Quicker? V. (Q) as an ad hominem Perhaps those who deny No-Quicker believe that (Q+) constitutes an ad hominem against that essentialist view. Perhaps they have something like the following in mind: We are prepared to agree that (1), (2), and (3) cannot be held consistently. But we Quickerites are not required by our view to accept (3), while you No- Quickerites are. Thus, you are required to accept all the propositions which together entail the falsity of your view, while we are not required to accept the propositions that entail the falsity of ours. It seems obvious that the believer in Quicker is free to reject (3). There is nothing in the view that an event can occur more quickly than it in fact does that requires the acceptance of the claim that some closest P-world is a closest Q-world. Indeed, it may be that the believer in Quicker must reject (3). Can one believe that Bennett's actual hand wave could have occurred more quickly and also believe that a world closest to the actual world in which Bennett waves his hand a bit more quickly than he actually does is a world in which his actual hand wave does not occur? Perhaps inessentialists must think that closest Q-worlds are not P- worlds at all, let alone closest P-worlds. But is one who accepts No-Quicker required to accept (3)? If so, then, given that those who deny that essentialist view are not, it would be clear that (Q+) would constitute a successful attack on that essentialist view. But, that essentialist thesis does not require the acceptance of (3). Perhaps some or all of the closest worlds in which Bennett's actual hand wave does not occur are ones in which Bennett keeps his hand in his lap; perhaps some or all such worlds are ones in which he waves a bit faster; perhaps some or all such worlds are ones in which he nods his head. None of these alternatives is entailed by the view that Bennett's actual hand wave could not have been a faster hand wave. What a world closest to the actual world in which a certain counterfactual condition is met is like is determined by the facts about the actual world and by the standards of world closeness. The essentialist thesis No-QuiCker, by itself, simply has no implications Concerning what would have to happen in a world closest to the actual world in which Bennett's actual hand wave does not occur; for it says nothing about what the actual world is like or about what the standards of world closeness are. That essentialist thesis does not entail that there is a possible world that is not only a closest P-world but also a closest Q- world. Of course, it might be suggested, on grounds independent of No-Quicker, that if Bennett's actual hand wave had not occurred, he would have waved his hand a bit faster than he actually did. Indeed, Bennett, at least in one place, indicates

8 193 Events, Counterfactuals. and Speed that he believes this; in Events and Their Names, he says that (Q) establishes its conclusion unless one supposes that at the closest world where I don't make that hand wave I don't wave my hand at all, whereas worlds where I wave it a little faster.., than I actually did are more remote. But no tenable standards of world closeness would let one suppose thaty So, here at least, Bennett seems to think it quite reasonable to believe (indeed, quite unreasonable not to believe) that, in worlds closest to the actual world in which his actual hand wave does not occur, he waves his hand a bit faster than he actually does. Two things should be noticed about this suggestion concerning the closeness of worlds. First, even if correct, all it amounts to is the insistence that a closest P- world is a Q-world. And that is not enough to justify (3), which says that some closest P-world is a closest Q-world. Secondly, Bennett's suggestion cannot be accepted by anyone who accepts Quicker. Any world in which Bennett's actual hand wave does not occur is a world in which nothing with which his actual hand wave could have been identical occurs. If Bennett's actual hand wave could have been a slightly quicker hand wave, then in worlds in which the actual hand wave does not occur no slightly quicker hand wave occurs; for those quicker hand waves would have been, according to this inessentialist position, Bennett's actual hand wave. The antiessentialist view and the passage from Bennett just quoted are incompatible. The anti-essentialist must maintain that the closest P-worlds are not Q-worlds at all (let alone closest Q-worlds). Regardless of the effect on the anti-essentialist's view of the idea that the closest P-worlds are Q-worlds, that idea may, after all, be correct. Still, that idea is simply not entailed by No-Quicker. Moreover, if it is a plausible suggestion, and if it leads to (3), s it is not a special problem for the essentialist's view. No one can accept (3) along with (1) and (2). The acceptance of (3), as I argued earlier, in conjunction with (2), leads, on anyone's view, directly to the rejection of (1). In any case, if encouraged to accept (3), one can give up (1). The view that an event cannot occur more quickly than it does bears no special relationship to (1). And to the extent ttiat there are reasons for accepting (3), those reasons would, together with (2), undercut whatever reason we might have for believing (1). If a world closest to the actual world in which Bennett's actual hand wave does not occur is a world closest to the actual world in which Bennett waves his hand a bit faster than he actually does, then in such a world, given (2), the auctioneer does think that Bennett made a bid. So, whatever might make (3) plausible makes (1) implausible. 9 But again, there is no reason to be found in the essentialist position No- Quicker for thinking that it is committed to (3). Events and Their Names, p. 55, fn. 7 (my emphasis). 8 Whether it does is not clear, for closest P-worlds may well be Q-worlds without being closest Q-worlds. 9 Whether (1) is so plausible that essentialists and well as inessentialists must accept it is an issue I shall be taking up in section VII.

9 Lawrence Brian Lombard 194 It is clear that No-Quicker entails that any possible world in which Bennett waves his hand (just once) a bit faster than he.actually does is a world in which Bennett's actual hand wave does not occur. The Q-worlds are P-worlds; and so the closest Q-worlds are P-worlds. However, (3) says more than that; it says that some closest Q-world is a closest P-world. But surely it is compatible with No- Quicker that in the closest P-worlds, Bennett keeps his hand in his lap. It is surely possible, for example, that the actual world is such that, for physiological reasons, Bennett simply could not have waved his hand any faster than he did. But if that were so, then the closest Q-worlds would not be closest P-worlds. That this is possible can hardly be thought to be inconsistent with the view that an event could not have occurred faster than it actually did. If this is right, then No- Quicker does not entail (3), Again, perhaps (3) might be made plausible on grounds independent of the essentialist's view. But even if so, one will no more be forced to give up No- Quicker than will the anti-essentialist be forced to give up Quicker. All can give up (1) instead. Unless, of course, (1) is, somehow', irresistible to right reason. VI. What's So Wonderful About (1)? Neither the defender nor the opponent of No-Quicker holds a position that entails that (1) is true. And (1) and (3) are not contradictories, but only contraries; so, even if there were good reasons for rejecting (3), that wouldn't count as a reason for thinking (1) true; (1) and (3) might both be false. And (1) surely does not have the intuitive plausibility that (2) has. Yet anyone who believes that either (Q) or (Q+) refutes No-Quicker must think either that that essentialist view is committed to (1), which it plainly is not, or that (1) can, on independent grounds, be shown to be true. 1 For if neither alternative is satisfied, then the anti-essentialist has an argument against the essentialist's view one of whose premises is one which neither disputant need accept! So, what reason might there be for thinking that (1) is true? In either case, the anti-essentialist would have to saddle the essentialist with (3) as well, which, I argued earlier, can't be done. It might appear that (1) could get some support from the counterfactual analysis of event causation. If we thought that the hand wave that Bennett actually produced caused the auctioneer to come to believe that Bennett had made a bid, then, barring overdetermination, if Bennett's actual hand wave had not occurred, then its effect, the auctioneer's coming to think that Bennett had made a bid, would not have occurred. However, the counterfactual analysis does not require that if an event, c, causes an event, e, then ifc had not occurred than e would not have occurred, unless c is an immediate cause of e. The reason for this is that, whereas the causal relation is transitive (so that the immediate causes of e. the causes of those causes, and so on are all causes of e), the counterfactual conditional is not transitive. From the fact that ifc hadn't occurred then d wouldn't have occurred and the fact that if d hadn't occurred then e wouldn't have occurred, it does not follow that, if c hadn't occurred, e wouldn't have occurred. Therefore, on the plausible assumption that Bennett's actual hand wave was a remote cause of the auctioneer's coming to believe that Bennett had made a bid (after all, the auctioneer must see the hand wave), the truth of (I) does not follow from the counterfactual analysis of event causation.

10 195 Events. Counterfactuals, and Speed (1) is the claim that, had Bennett's actual hand wave not occurred, the auctioneer would not have thought that Bennett was bidding. What is the intuition that could ground one's confidence in this claim? I suggest that it is quite plausible -- it is at least as plausible as (2) is -- to believe that, unless the auctioneer's thought that Bennett was bidding was overdetermined (say, by Bennett's nodding his head while waving his hand), if Bennett does not wave his hand at all, then he does nothing at all that would have made the auctioneer believe that Bennett was bidding. It is quite reasonable, then, to suppose that the following expresses a truth that all parties to the dispute can accept: (4) in the possible worlds closest to the actual world in which there does not occur an event that is Bennett's hand wave, the auctioneer does not think that Bennett was bidding. (4) is, on the assumption that the auctioneer's thought is not overdetermined, quite plausible, for in understanding it, we need not suppose the referent of 'Bennett's hand wave' to be the hand wave that Bennett actually produced; any unique hand wave produced by him will do. So, had there been no such wave, and nothing else to indicate a bid, the auctioneer would not have thought that Bennett was bidding. (4), however, is not a claim that is strong enough (even in conjunction with (2) and (3)) to support (Q)'s (or (Q+)'s) conclusion, for it says nothing about Bennett's actual hand wave or about what would have happened had it not occurred. What is needed is a large scope version of (4): (4L) Bennett's hand wave (the one he actually produced) is such that, in the possible worlds closest to the actual world in which it does not occur, the auctioneer does not think that Bennett was bidding. According to (4L), worlds closest to the actual world in which Bennett's actual hand wave does not occur are worlds in which the auctioneer does not think that Bennett has made a bid. (4L), of course, is just (1). In any case, even~if the truth of (1) is simply granted, the option of rejecting (3) is still available to one who accepts No-Quicker. And such an option would be well-motivated, since whatever the considerations are that suggest that (1) is true undermine (3). 12 But, one simply need not grant (1). The thought that it is obvious (or, at any rate, that it is as obvious as (2) is), can stem, I think, only from the obviousness of (4) and the fact that (4L), that is, (1), can be inferred from it by means of a scope fallacy. It simply does not have the intuitive plausibility that would recommend it to everyone. In sum, then, (1), (2), and (3) are incompatible with both views concerning whether an event can occur faster than it in fact does. (2) is independently quite plausible. So, neither position can accept both (1) and (3). The defender of No- Quicker is free from any commitment to (3). But if forced to accept (3) on independent grounds, so is everyone; and everyone can then reject (1). And if forced to accept (1), all can reject (3). 12 Of course, this option is open as well to, and must be taken by, those who assert Quicker.

11 Lawrence Brian Lombard 196 So, while Bennett's basic point, that the truth of at least some counterfactuals about events has implications concerning the properties that events have essentially, is surely correct, (Q), since it is invalid, fails to be an illustration of that point. And (Q+), though valid, is unsound; so it fails to establish that an event can occur more quickly than it in fact does. VII. Arguments Analogous to (Q) Virtually anything that Bennett could have done to attract the auctioneer's attention would have made it the case that Bennett made a bid. Thus, it is plausible to suppose that (5) if Bennett had nodded his head, instead of waving his hand, the auctioneer would still have thought he was bidding is true and just as reasonable to believe as (2) is. If (Q) were valid, then, from (1) and (5), we could conclude that Bennett's hand wave could have been a nod of his head. 13 But I cannot bring myself to believe this conclusion; nor, in light of my criticism of (Q), need I. So far as I can see, the most that (5) shows is that, in conjunction with the truth of (1), different events (head noddings and hand wavings) can have the same outcome. Of course, to validly infer that Bennett's hand wave could have been a nod of his head, from (1) and (5), we would have to add a premise analogous to (3), something like this: there is a world closest to the actual world in which Bennett's actual hand wave does not occur that is also a world closest to the actual world in which Bennett nods his head. But this additional premise is not particularly plausible; and it, in conjunction with (1) and (5), form an inconsistent triad, in just the way that (1), (2), and (3) do. If (Q) were valid, its power to show what Bennett's hand wave could have been like would extend even beyond things Bennett could have done. Consider this argument: Suppose that at noon Bennett waves his fight hand, and his companion later says S': If that hand wave had not occurred, the auctioneer wouldn't have thought you were bidding. Now if Bennett's identical twin, who was sitting next to him, had waved his right hand instead, the auctioneer would still have thought that Bennett was bidding (because he could not see that the waved hand was the twin's or because he mistook Bennett's twin for Bennett); so if S" is to come out true that possible wave (the one the twin produced) must count as the wave Bennett actually produced. Thus, the wave of Bennett's hand could have been a wave of his twin's hand, which means that it is not of the essence of Bennett's hand wave that it be a wave of Bennett's hand. This argument is, of course, invalid for the same reason that (Q) is. To make it valid, it would have to be supplemented by a suitable replacement for (3). The required replacement for (3) here would be something like this: there is a world is See Events and Their Names, pp. 55f.

12 197 Events, Counterfactuals, and Speed closest to the actual world in which Bennett's actual hand wave does not occur that is also a world closest to the actual world in which Bennett's twin waves his hand! This is hardly a proposition that immediately recommends itself; nor is it something that one who believes that Bennett's actual hand wave could not have been a wave of his twin's hand is required to believe. And the argument from this premise, (1), and the claim that if Bennett's twin (and not Bennett) had waved his hand the auctioneer would still have thought that Bennett was bidding, to the conclusion that an event's subject is inessential to it is, of course, unsound for the same reasons that (Q+) is. 14 If (Q+) were to establish that an event can occur more quickly than it does, then the following argument, suitably supplemented, is would establish that an event can occur more slowly (in senses that correspond to the various senses of 'more quickly') than it does: Suppose that at noon precisely I wave my right hand, and someone makes the statement S" : If that hand wave had not occurred, the auctioneer wouldn't have thought you were bidding. Now, if I had waved my right hand a fraction more slowly than I actually did, the auctioneer would still have thought I was bidding; so if S" is to come out true, those possible waves must count as the wave I actually did. That implies that my actual wave could have been a bit slower than it was. (Q+) and the argument just displayed, suitably supplemented, are formally analogous; so they stand or fall together. If sound, they would establish the full inessentiality thesis, that an event can occur both more quickly and more slowly than it actually does. If unsound, they touch neither half of that essentialist thesis. And they are both unsound. TM Wayne State University Received March For an argument in favour of the essentiality of events' subjects, see my Events: A Metaphysical Study, pp It would be supplemented by 3" -- there is a closest P-world that is also a closest Q'-world - - where Q" is the proposition that Bennett waves his hand a bit more slowly than he actually does. I am grateful to Michael McKinsey for his helpful reading of an earlier draft of this paper, for his long and fruitful discussions with me, and for his insightful and penetrating suggestions. I wish also to thank Bruce Russell and Larry Powers for their helpful discussions with me concerning this paper, and for forcing me to be much clearer than I otherwise would have been, I would also like to thank the referees of the Australasian Journal of Philosophy for their very helpful and insightful comments on what was not supposed to be merely the penultimate draft of this paper.

In defence of the Simplicity Argument E. J. Lowe a a

In defence of the Simplicity Argument E. J. Lowe a a This article was downloaded by: [University of Notre Dame] On: 11 July 2010 Access details: Access Details: [subscription number 917395010] Publisher Routledge Informa Ltd Registered in England and Wales

More information

To link to this article:

To link to this article: This article was downloaded by: [University of Chicago Library] On: 24 May 2013, At: 08:10 Publisher: Routledge Informa Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registered office:

More information

PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE

PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE This article was downloaded by: [Psillos, Stathis] On: 18 August 2009 Access details: Access Details: [subscription number 913836605] Publisher Routledge Informa Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered

More information

Contradicting Realities, déjà vu in Tehran

Contradicting Realities, déjà vu in Tehran This article was downloaded by: [RMIT University] On: 23 August 2011, At: 21:09 Publisher: Routledge Informa Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registered office: Mortimer House,

More information

Could i conceive being a brain in a vat? John D. Collier a a

Could i conceive being a brain in a vat? John D. Collier a a This article was downloaded by: [University of KwaZulu-Natal][University Of KwaZulu Natal] On: 3 June 2010 Access details: Access Details: [subscription number 917272671] Publisher Routledge Informa Ltd

More information

TWO VERSIONS OF HUME S LAW

TWO VERSIONS OF HUME S LAW DISCUSSION NOTE BY CAMPBELL BROWN JOURNAL OF ETHICS & SOCIAL PHILOSOPHY DISCUSSION NOTE MAY 2015 URL: WWW.JESP.ORG COPYRIGHT CAMPBELL BROWN 2015 Two Versions of Hume s Law MORAL CONCLUSIONS CANNOT VALIDLY

More information

To link to this article:

To link to this article: This article was downloaded by: [Dr Kenneth Shapiro] On: 08 June 2015, At: 07:45 Publisher: Routledge Informa Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registered office: Mortimer

More information

10 CERTAINTY G.E. MOORE: SELECTED WRITINGS

10 CERTAINTY G.E. MOORE: SELECTED WRITINGS 10 170 I am at present, as you can all see, in a room and not in the open air; I am standing up, and not either sitting or lying down; I have clothes on, and am not absolutely naked; I am speaking in a

More information

Alastair Norcross a a Department of Philosophy, University of Colorado at Boulder,

Alastair Norcross a a Department of Philosophy, University of Colorado at Boulder, This article was downloaded by: [Bibliothek Der Zt-wirtschaft] On: 08 January 2013, At: 00:56 Publisher: Routledge Informa Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registered office:

More information

Truth and Molinism * Trenton Merricks. Molinism: The Contemporary Debate edited by Ken Perszyk. Oxford University Press, 2011.

Truth and Molinism * Trenton Merricks. Molinism: The Contemporary Debate edited by Ken Perszyk. Oxford University Press, 2011. Truth and Molinism * Trenton Merricks Molinism: The Contemporary Debate edited by Ken Perszyk. Oxford University Press, 2011. According to Luis de Molina, God knows what each and every possible human would

More information

IN DEFENCE OF CLOSURE

IN DEFENCE OF CLOSURE IN DEFENCE OF CLOSURE IN DEFENCE OF CLOSURE By RICHARD FELDMAN Closure principles for epistemic justification hold that one is justified in believing the logical consequences, perhaps of a specified sort,

More information

Externalism and a priori knowledge of the world: Why privileged access is not the issue Maria Lasonen-Aarnio

Externalism and a priori knowledge of the world: Why privileged access is not the issue Maria Lasonen-Aarnio Externalism and a priori knowledge of the world: Why privileged access is not the issue Maria Lasonen-Aarnio This is the pre-peer reviewed version of the following article: Lasonen-Aarnio, M. (2006), Externalism

More information

PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE

PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE This article was downloaded by:[university of Colorado Libraries] On: 16 October 2007 Access Details: [subscription number 772655108] Publisher: Routledge Informa Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered

More information

Replies to Hasker and Zimmerman. Trenton Merricks. Molinism: The Contemporary Debate edited by Ken Perszyk. Oxford University Press, I.

Replies to Hasker and Zimmerman. Trenton Merricks. Molinism: The Contemporary Debate edited by Ken Perszyk. Oxford University Press, I. Replies to Hasker and Zimmerman Trenton Merricks Molinism: The Contemporary Debate edited by Ken Perszyk. Oxford University Press, 2011. I. Hasker Here is how arguments by reductio work: you show that

More information

THE CAMBRIDGE SOLUTION TO THE TIME OF A KILLING LAWRENCE B. LOMBARD

THE CAMBRIDGE SOLUTION TO THE TIME OF A KILLING LAWRENCE B. LOMBARD THE CAMBRIDGE SOLUTION TO THE TIME OF A KILLING LAWRENCE B. LOMBARD I. Introduction Just when we thought it safe to ignore the problem of the time of a killing, either because we thought the problem already

More information

Skepticism and Internalism

Skepticism and Internalism Skepticism and Internalism John Greco Abstract: This paper explores a familiar skeptical problematic and considers some strategies for responding to it. Section 1 reconstructs and disambiguates the skeptical

More information

THINKING ANIMALS AND EPISTEMOLOGY

THINKING ANIMALS AND EPISTEMOLOGY THINKING ANIMALS AND EPISTEMOLOGY by ANTHONY BRUECKNER AND CHRISTOPHER T. BUFORD Abstract: We consider one of Eric Olson s chief arguments for animalism about personal identity: the view that we are each

More information

DENNETT ON THE BASIC ARGUMENT JOHN MARTIN FISCHER

DENNETT ON THE BASIC ARGUMENT JOHN MARTIN FISCHER . Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 9600 Garsington Road, Oxford OX4 2DQ, UK, and 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148, USA METAPHILOSOPHY Vol. 36, No. 4, July 2005 0026-1068 DENNETT ON THE BASIC ARGUMENT

More information

Is the Existence of the Best Possible World Logically Impossible?

Is the Existence of the Best Possible World Logically Impossible? Is the Existence of the Best Possible World Logically Impossible? Anders Kraal ABSTRACT: Since the 1960s an increasing number of philosophers have endorsed the thesis that there can be no such thing as

More information

What God Could Have Made

What God Could Have Made 1 What God Could Have Made By Heimir Geirsson and Michael Losonsky I. Introduction Atheists have argued that if there is a God who is omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent, then God would have made

More information

Foreknowledge, evil, and compatibility arguments

Foreknowledge, evil, and compatibility arguments Foreknowledge, evil, and compatibility arguments Jeff Speaks January 25, 2011 1 Warfield s argument for compatibilism................................ 1 2 Why the argument fails to show that free will and

More information

REASONS AND ENTAILMENT

REASONS AND ENTAILMENT REASONS AND ENTAILMENT Bart Streumer b.streumer@rug.nl Erkenntnis 66 (2007): 353-374 Published version available here: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10670-007-9041-6 Abstract: What is the relation between

More information

Conditionals II: no truth conditions?

Conditionals II: no truth conditions? Conditionals II: no truth conditions? UC Berkeley, Philosophy 142, Spring 2016 John MacFarlane 1 Arguments for the material conditional analysis As Edgington [1] notes, there are some powerful reasons

More information

Aquinas' Third Way Modalized

Aquinas' Third Way Modalized Philosophy of Religion Aquinas' Third Way Modalized Robert E. Maydole Davidson College bomaydole@davidson.edu ABSTRACT: The Third Way is the most interesting and insightful of Aquinas' five arguments for

More information

Rosetta E. Ross a a Spelman College, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. To link to this article:

Rosetta E. Ross a a Spelman College, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. To link to this article: This article was downloaded by: [Rosetta Ross] On: 23 June 2012, At: 15:49 Publisher: Routledge Informa Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registered office: Mortimer House,

More information

A Liar Paradox. Richard G. Heck, Jr. Brown University

A Liar Paradox. Richard G. Heck, Jr. Brown University A Liar Paradox Richard G. Heck, Jr. Brown University It is widely supposed nowadays that, whatever the right theory of truth may be, it needs to satisfy a principle sometimes known as transparency : Any

More information

Philosophical Perspectives, 14, Action and Freedom, 2000 TRANSFER PRINCIPLES AND MORAL RESPONSIBILITY. Eleonore Stump Saint Louis University

Philosophical Perspectives, 14, Action and Freedom, 2000 TRANSFER PRINCIPLES AND MORAL RESPONSIBILITY. Eleonore Stump Saint Louis University Philosophical Perspectives, 14, Action and Freedom, 2000 TRANSFER PRINCIPLES AND MORAL RESPONSIBILITY Eleonore Stump Saint Louis University John Martin Fischer University of California, Riverside It is

More information

DEFEASIBLE A PRIORI JUSTIFICATION: A REPLY TO THUROW

DEFEASIBLE A PRIORI JUSTIFICATION: A REPLY TO THUROW The Philosophical Quarterly Vol. 58, No. 231 April 2008 ISSN 0031 8094 doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9213.2007.512.x DEFEASIBLE A PRIORI JUSTIFICATION: A REPLY TO THUROW BY ALBERT CASULLO Joshua Thurow offers a

More information

Outsmarting the McKinsey-Brown argument? 1

Outsmarting the McKinsey-Brown argument? 1 Outsmarting the McKinsey-Brown argument? 1 Paul Noordhof Externalists about mental content are supposed to face the following dilemma. Either they must give up the claim that we have privileged access

More information

Empty Names and Two-Valued Positive Free Logic

Empty Names and Two-Valued Positive Free Logic Empty Names and Two-Valued Positive Free Logic 1 Introduction Zahra Ahmadianhosseini In order to tackle the problem of handling empty names in logic, Andrew Bacon (2013) takes on an approach based on positive

More information

BOOK REVIEWS. Duke University. The Philosophical Review, Vol. XCVII, No. 1 (January 1988)

BOOK REVIEWS. Duke University. The Philosophical Review, Vol. XCVII, No. 1 (January 1988) manner that provokes the student into careful and critical thought on these issues, then this book certainly gets that job done. On the other hand, one likes to think (imagine or hope) that the very best

More information

Resemblance Nominalism and counterparts

Resemblance Nominalism and counterparts ANAL63-3 4/15/2003 2:40 PM Page 221 Resemblance Nominalism and counterparts Alexander Bird 1. Introduction In his (2002) Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereyra provides a powerful articulation of the claim that Resemblance

More information

How Not to Defend Metaphysical Realism (Southwestern Philosophical Review, Vol , 19-27)

How Not to Defend Metaphysical Realism (Southwestern Philosophical Review, Vol , 19-27) How Not to Defend Metaphysical Realism (Southwestern Philosophical Review, Vol 3 1986, 19-27) John Collier Department of Philosophy Rice University November 21, 1986 Putnam's writings on realism(1) have

More information

ALTERNATIVE SELF-DEFEAT ARGUMENTS: A REPLY TO MIZRAHI

ALTERNATIVE SELF-DEFEAT ARGUMENTS: A REPLY TO MIZRAHI ALTERNATIVE SELF-DEFEAT ARGUMENTS: A REPLY TO MIZRAHI Michael HUEMER ABSTRACT: I address Moti Mizrahi s objections to my use of the Self-Defeat Argument for Phenomenal Conservatism (PC). Mizrahi contends

More information

Exercise Sets. KS Philosophical Logic: Modality, Conditionals Vagueness. Dirk Kindermann University of Graz July 2014

Exercise Sets. KS Philosophical Logic: Modality, Conditionals Vagueness. Dirk Kindermann University of Graz July 2014 Exercise Sets KS Philosophical Logic: Modality, Conditionals Vagueness Dirk Kindermann University of Graz July 2014 1 Exercise Set 1 Propositional and Predicate Logic 1. Use Definition 1.1 (Handout I Propositional

More information

Faith and Philosophy, April (2006), DE SE KNOWLEDGE AND THE POSSIBILITY OF AN OMNISCIENT BEING Stephan Torre

Faith and Philosophy, April (2006), DE SE KNOWLEDGE AND THE POSSIBILITY OF AN OMNISCIENT BEING Stephan Torre 1 Faith and Philosophy, April (2006), 191-200. Penultimate Draft DE SE KNOWLEDGE AND THE POSSIBILITY OF AN OMNISCIENT BEING Stephan Torre In this paper I examine an argument that has been made by Patrick

More information

Causing People to Exist and Saving People s Lives Jeff McMahan

Causing People to Exist and Saving People s Lives Jeff McMahan Causing People to Exist and Saving People s Lives Jeff McMahan 1 Possible People Suppose that whatever one does a new person will come into existence. But one can determine who this person will be by either

More information

From Necessary Truth to Necessary Existence

From Necessary Truth to Necessary Existence Prequel for Section 4.2 of Defending the Correspondence Theory Published by PJP VII, 1 From Necessary Truth to Necessary Existence Abstract I introduce new details in an argument for necessarily existing

More information

DISCUSSION PRACTICAL POLITICS AND PHILOSOPHICAL INQUIRY: A NOTE

DISCUSSION PRACTICAL POLITICS AND PHILOSOPHICAL INQUIRY: A NOTE Practical Politics and Philosophical Inquiry: A Note Author(s): Dale Hall and Tariq Modood Reviewed work(s): Source: The Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 29, No. 117 (Oct., 1979), pp. 340-344 Published by:

More information

SAVING RELATIVISM FROM ITS SAVIOUR

SAVING RELATIVISM FROM ITS SAVIOUR CRÍTICA, Revista Hispanoamericana de Filosofía Vol. XXXI, No. 91 (abril 1999): 91 103 SAVING RELATIVISM FROM ITS SAVIOUR MAX KÖLBEL Doctoral Programme in Cognitive Science Universität Hamburg In his paper

More information

In this paper I will critically discuss a theory known as conventionalism

In this paper I will critically discuss a theory known as conventionalism Aporia vol. 22 no. 2 2012 Combating Metric Conventionalism Matthew Macdonald In this paper I will critically discuss a theory known as conventionalism about the metric of time. Simply put, conventionalists

More information

Kantian Humility and Ontological Categories Sam Cowling University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Kantian Humility and Ontological Categories Sam Cowling University of Massachusetts, Amherst Kantian Humility and Ontological Categories Sam Cowling University of Massachusetts, Amherst [Forthcoming in Analysis. Penultimate Draft. Cite published version.] Kantian Humility holds that agents like

More information

Final Paper. May 13, 2015

Final Paper. May 13, 2015 24.221 Final Paper May 13, 2015 Determinism states the following: given the state of the universe at time t 0, denoted S 0, and the conjunction of the laws of nature, L, the state of the universe S at

More information

AGENT CAUSATION AND RESPONSIBILITY: A REPLY TO FLINT

AGENT CAUSATION AND RESPONSIBILITY: A REPLY TO FLINT AGENT CAUSATION AND RESPONSIBILITY: A REPLY TO FLINT Michael Bergmann In an earlier paper I argued that if we help ourselves to Molinism, we can give a counterexample - one avoiding the usual difficulties

More information

LOGICAL PLURALISM IS COMPATIBLE WITH MONISM ABOUT METAPHYSICAL MODALITY

LOGICAL PLURALISM IS COMPATIBLE WITH MONISM ABOUT METAPHYSICAL MODALITY LOGICAL PLURALISM IS COMPATIBLE WITH MONISM ABOUT METAPHYSICAL MODALITY Nicola Ciprotti and Luca Moretti Beall and Restall [2000], [2001] and [2006] advocate a comprehensive pluralist approach to logic,

More information

PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE

PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE This article was downloaded by: [Fletcher, Guy] On: 6 June 2009 Access details: Access Details: [subscription number 912247411] Publisher Routledge Informa Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered

More information

PHILOSOPHY OF LANGUAGE AND META-ETHICS

PHILOSOPHY OF LANGUAGE AND META-ETHICS The Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 54, No. 217 October 2004 ISSN 0031 8094 PHILOSOPHY OF LANGUAGE AND META-ETHICS BY IRA M. SCHNALL Meta-ethical discussions commonly distinguish subjectivism from emotivism,

More information

KANT S EXPLANATION OF THE NECESSITY OF GEOMETRICAL TRUTHS. John Watling

KANT S EXPLANATION OF THE NECESSITY OF GEOMETRICAL TRUTHS. John Watling KANT S EXPLANATION OF THE NECESSITY OF GEOMETRICAL TRUTHS John Watling Kant was an idealist. His idealism was in some ways, it is true, less extreme than that of Berkeley. He distinguished his own by calling

More information

CRITICAL STUDY FISCHER ON MORAL RESPONSIBILITY

CRITICAL STUDY FISCHER ON MORAL RESPONSIBILITY The Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 47, No. 188 July 1997 ISSN 0031 8094 CRITICAL STUDY FISCHER ON MORAL RESPONSIBILITY BY PETER VAN INWAGEN The Metaphysics of Free Will: an Essay on Control. BY JOHN MARTIN

More information

E. J. Coffman a a The University of Tennessee, To link to this article:

E. J. Coffman a a The University of Tennessee, To link to this article: This article was downloaded by: [University of Tennessee, Knoxville] On: 17 May 2012, At: 20:11 Publisher: Routledge Informa Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registered office:

More information

Philosophy 1100: Introduction to Ethics. Critical Thinking Lecture 2. Background Material for the Exercise on Inference Indicators

Philosophy 1100: Introduction to Ethics. Critical Thinking Lecture 2. Background Material for the Exercise on Inference Indicators Philosophy 1100: Introduction to Ethics Critical Thinking Lecture 2 Background Material for the Exercise on Inference Indicators Inference-Indicators and the Logical Structure of an Argument 1. The Idea

More information

Citation for the original published paper (version of record):

Citation for the original published paper (version of record): http://www.diva-portal.org Postprint This is the accepted version of a paper published in Utilitas. This paper has been peerreviewed but does not include the final publisher proof-corrections or journal

More information

Direct Realism and the Brain-in-a-Vat Argument by Michael Huemer (2000)

Direct Realism and the Brain-in-a-Vat Argument by Michael Huemer (2000) Direct Realism and the Brain-in-a-Vat Argument by Michael Huemer (2000) One of the advantages traditionally claimed for direct realist theories of perception over indirect realist theories is that the

More information

Comments on Truth at A World for Modal Propositions

Comments on Truth at A World for Modal Propositions Comments on Truth at A World for Modal Propositions Christopher Menzel Texas A&M University March 16, 2008 Since Arthur Prior first made us aware of the issue, a lot of philosophical thought has gone into

More information

Is Innate Foreknowledge Possible to a Temporal God?

Is Innate Foreknowledge Possible to a Temporal God? Is Innate Foreknowledge Possible to a Temporal God? by Kel Good A very interesting attempt to avoid the conclusion that God's foreknowledge is inconsistent with creaturely freedom is an essay entitled

More information

Merricks on the existence of human organisms

Merricks on the existence of human organisms Merricks on the existence of human organisms Cian Dorr August 24, 2002 Merricks s Overdetermination Argument against the existence of baseballs depends essentially on the following premise: BB Whenever

More information

Cognitivism about imperatives

Cognitivism about imperatives Cognitivism about imperatives JOSH PARSONS 1 Introduction Sentences in the imperative mood imperatives, for short are traditionally supposed to not be truth-apt. They are not in the business of describing

More information

Do Ordinary Objects Exist? No. * Trenton Merricks. Current Controversies in Metaphysics edited by Elizabeth Barnes. Routledge Press. Forthcoming.

Do Ordinary Objects Exist? No. * Trenton Merricks. Current Controversies in Metaphysics edited by Elizabeth Barnes. Routledge Press. Forthcoming. Do Ordinary Objects Exist? No. * Trenton Merricks Current Controversies in Metaphysics edited by Elizabeth Barnes. Routledge Press. Forthcoming. I. Three Bad Arguments Consider a pair of gloves. Name the

More information

Leibniz, Principles, and Truth 1

Leibniz, Principles, and Truth 1 Leibniz, Principles, and Truth 1 Leibniz was a man of principles. 2 Throughout his writings, one finds repeated assertions that his view is developed according to certain fundamental principles. Attempting

More information

IS GOD "SIGNIFICANTLY FREE?''

IS GOD SIGNIFICANTLY FREE?'' IS GOD "SIGNIFICANTLY FREE?'' Wesley Morriston In an impressive series of books and articles, Alvin Plantinga has developed challenging new versions of two much discussed pieces of philosophical theology:

More information

KNOWLEDGE ON AFFECTIVE TRUST. Arnon Keren

KNOWLEDGE ON AFFECTIVE TRUST. Arnon Keren Abstracta SPECIAL ISSUE VI, pp. 33 46, 2012 KNOWLEDGE ON AFFECTIVE TRUST Arnon Keren Epistemologists of testimony widely agree on the fact that our reliance on other people's testimony is extensive. However,

More information

Mohammed Rustom a a Carleton University. Available online: 28 Feb 2012

Mohammed Rustom a a Carleton University. Available online: 28 Feb 2012 This article was downloaded by: [University of Toronto Libraries] On: 28 February 2012, At: 08:43 Publisher: Routledge Informa Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registered

More information

THE MORAL ARGUMENT. Peter van Inwagen. Introduction, James Petrik

THE MORAL ARGUMENT. Peter van Inwagen. Introduction, James Petrik THE MORAL ARGUMENT Peter van Inwagen Introduction, James Petrik THE HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHICAL DISCUSSIONS of human freedom is closely intertwined with the history of philosophical discussions of moral responsibility.

More information

THE TWO-DIMENSIONAL ARGUMENT AGAINST MATERIALISM AND ITS SEMANTIC PREMISE

THE TWO-DIMENSIONAL ARGUMENT AGAINST MATERIALISM AND ITS SEMANTIC PREMISE Diametros nr 29 (wrzesień 2011): 80-92 THE TWO-DIMENSIONAL ARGUMENT AGAINST MATERIALISM AND ITS SEMANTIC PREMISE Karol Polcyn 1. PRELIMINARIES Chalmers articulates his argument in terms of two-dimensional

More information

Searle vs. Chalmers Debate, 8/2005 with Death Monkey (Kevin Dolan)

Searle vs. Chalmers Debate, 8/2005 with Death Monkey (Kevin Dolan) Searle vs. Chalmers Debate, 8/2005 with Death Monkey (Kevin Dolan) : Searle says of Chalmers book, The Conscious Mind, "it is one thing to bite the occasional bullet here and there, but this book consumes

More information

INTUITION AND CONSCIOUS REASONING

INTUITION AND CONSCIOUS REASONING The Philosophical Quarterly Vol. 63, No. 253 October 2013 ISSN 0031-8094 doi: 10.1111/1467-9213.12071 INTUITION AND CONSCIOUS REASONING BY OLE KOKSVIK This paper argues that, contrary to common opinion,

More information

OSSA Conference Archive OSSA 5

OSSA Conference Archive OSSA 5 University of Windsor Scholarship at UWindsor OSSA Conference Archive OSSA 5 May 14th, 9:00 AM - May 17th, 5:00 PM Commentary pm Krabbe Dale Jacquette Follow this and additional works at: http://scholar.uwindsor.ca/ossaarchive

More information

Published in Analysis 61:1, January Rea on Universalism. Matthew McGrath

Published in Analysis 61:1, January Rea on Universalism. Matthew McGrath Published in Analysis 61:1, January 2001 Rea on Universalism Matthew McGrath Universalism is the thesis that, for any (material) things at any time, there is something they compose at that time. In McGrath

More information

Zimmerman, Michael J. Subsidiary Obligation, Philosophical Studies, 50 (1986):

Zimmerman, Michael J. Subsidiary Obligation, Philosophical Studies, 50 (1986): SUBSIDIARY OBLIGATION By: MICHAEL J. ZIMMERMAN Zimmerman, Michael J. Subsidiary Obligation, Philosophical Studies, 50 (1986): 65-75. Made available courtesy of Springer Verlag. The original publication

More information

Some Good and Some Not so Good Arguments for Necessary Laws. William Russell Payne Ph.D.

Some Good and Some Not so Good Arguments for Necessary Laws. William Russell Payne Ph.D. Some Good and Some Not so Good Arguments for Necessary Laws William Russell Payne Ph.D. The view that properties have their causal powers essentially, which I will here call property essentialism, has

More information

New Aristotelianism, Routledge, 2012), in which he expanded upon

New Aristotelianism, Routledge, 2012), in which he expanded upon Powers, Essentialism and Agency: A Reply to Alexander Bird Ruth Porter Groff, Saint Louis University AUB Conference, April 28-29, 2016 1. Here s the backstory. A couple of years ago my friend Alexander

More information

WHY PLANTINGA FAILS TO RECONCILE DIVINE FOREKNOWLEDGE

WHY PLANTINGA FAILS TO RECONCILE DIVINE FOREKNOWLEDGE WHY PLANTINGA FAILS TO RECONCILE DIVINE FOREKNOWLEDGE AND LIBERTARIAN FREE WILL Andrew Rogers KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY Abstract In this paper I argue that Plantinga fails to reconcile libertarian free will

More information

Molnar on Truthmakers for Negative Truths

Molnar on Truthmakers for Negative Truths Molnar on Truthmakers for Negative Truths Nils Kürbis Dept of Philosophy, King s College London Penultimate draft, forthcoming in Metaphysica. The final publication is available at www.reference-global.com

More information

Chapter 9- Sentential Proofs

Chapter 9- Sentential Proofs Logic: A Brief Introduction Ronald L. Hall, Stetson University Chapter 9- Sentential roofs 9.1 Introduction So far we have introduced three ways of assessing the validity of truth-functional arguments.

More information

Notes on Bertrand Russell s The Problems of Philosophy (Hackett 1990 reprint of the 1912 Oxford edition, Chapters XII, XIII, XIV, )

Notes on Bertrand Russell s The Problems of Philosophy (Hackett 1990 reprint of the 1912 Oxford edition, Chapters XII, XIII, XIV, ) Notes on Bertrand Russell s The Problems of Philosophy (Hackett 1990 reprint of the 1912 Oxford edition, Chapters XII, XIII, XIV, 119-152) Chapter XII Truth and Falsehood [pp. 119-130] Russell begins here

More information

ON THE TRUTH CONDITIONS OF INDICATIVE AND COUNTERFACTUAL CONDITIONALS Wylie Breckenridge

ON THE TRUTH CONDITIONS OF INDICATIVE AND COUNTERFACTUAL CONDITIONALS Wylie Breckenridge ON THE TRUTH CONDITIONS OF INDICATIVE AND COUNTERFACTUAL CONDITIONALS Wylie Breckenridge In this essay I will survey some theories about the truth conditions of indicative and counterfactual conditionals.

More information

Sensitivity hasn t got a Heterogeneity Problem - a Reply to Melchior

Sensitivity hasn t got a Heterogeneity Problem - a Reply to Melchior DOI 10.1007/s11406-016-9782-z Sensitivity hasn t got a Heterogeneity Problem - a Reply to Melchior Kevin Wallbridge 1 Received: 3 May 2016 / Revised: 7 September 2016 / Accepted: 17 October 2016 # The

More information

Class #14: October 13 Gödel s Platonism

Class #14: October 13 Gödel s Platonism Philosophy 405: Knowledge, Truth and Mathematics Fall 2010 Hamilton College Russell Marcus Class #14: October 13 Gödel s Platonism I. The Continuum Hypothesis and Its Independence The continuum problem

More information

Freedom, Responsibility, and Frankfurt-style Cases

Freedom, Responsibility, and Frankfurt-style Cases Freedom, Responsibility, and Frankfurt-style Cases Bruce Macdonald University College London MPhilStud Masters in Philosophical Studies 1 Declaration I, Bruce Macdonald, confirm that the work presented

More information

STILL NO REDUNDANT PROPERTIES: REPLY TO WIELENBERG

STILL NO REDUNDANT PROPERTIES: REPLY TO WIELENBERG DISCUSSION NOTE STILL NO REDUNDANT PROPERTIES: REPLY TO WIELENBERG BY CAMPBELL BROWN JOURNAL OF ETHICS & SOCIAL PHILOSOPHY DISCUSSION NOTE NOVEMBER 2012 URL: WWW.JESP.ORG COPYRIGHT CAMPBELL BROWN 2012

More information

Do Ordinary Objects Exist? No. * Trenton Merricks. Current Controversies in Metaphysics edited by Elizabeth Barnes. Routledge Press. Forthcoming.

Do Ordinary Objects Exist? No. * Trenton Merricks. Current Controversies in Metaphysics edited by Elizabeth Barnes. Routledge Press. Forthcoming. Do Ordinary Objects Exist? No. * Trenton Merricks Current Controversies in Metaphysics edited by Elizabeth Barnes. Routledge Press. Forthcoming. I. Three Bad Arguments Consider a pair of gloves. Name the

More information

On Some Alleged Consequences Of The Hartle-Hawking Cosmology. In [3], Quentin Smith claims that the Hartle-Hawking cosmology is inconsistent with

On Some Alleged Consequences Of The Hartle-Hawking Cosmology. In [3], Quentin Smith claims that the Hartle-Hawking cosmology is inconsistent with On Some Alleged Consequences Of The Hartle-Hawking Cosmology In [3], Quentin Smith claims that the Hartle-Hawking cosmology is inconsistent with classical theism in a way which redounds to the discredit

More information

ISSA Proceedings 1998 Wilson On Circular Arguments

ISSA Proceedings 1998 Wilson On Circular Arguments ISSA Proceedings 1998 Wilson On Circular Arguments 1. Introduction In his paper Circular Arguments Kent Wilson (1988) argues that any account of the fallacy of begging the question based on epistemic conditions

More information

Prompt: Explain van Inwagen s consequence argument. Describe what you think is the best response

Prompt: Explain van Inwagen s consequence argument. Describe what you think is the best response Prompt: Explain van Inwagen s consequence argument. Describe what you think is the best response to this argument. Does this response succeed in saving compatibilism from the consequence argument? Why

More information

Paradox of Deniability

Paradox of Deniability 1 Paradox of Deniability Massimiliano Carrara FISPPA Department, University of Padua, Italy Peking University, Beijing - 6 November 2018 Introduction. The starting elements Suppose two speakers disagree

More information

Scope Fallacies and the "Decisive Objection" Against Endurance

Scope Fallacies and the Decisive Objection Against Endurance Philosophia (2006) 34:441-452 DOI 10.1007/s 11406-007-9046-z Scope Fallacies and the "Decisive Objection" Against Endurance Lawrence B. Lombard Received: 15 September 2006 /Accepted: 12 February 2007 /

More information

The myth of the categorical counterfactual

The myth of the categorical counterfactual Philos Stud (2009) 144:281 296 DOI 10.1007/s11098-008-9210-8 The myth of the categorical counterfactual David Barnett Published online: 12 February 2008 Ó Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008 Abstract

More information

The Problem with Complete States: Freedom, Chance and the Luck Argument

The Problem with Complete States: Freedom, Chance and the Luck Argument The Problem with Complete States: Freedom, Chance and the Luck Argument Richard Johns Department of Philosophy University of British Columbia August 2006 Revised March 2009 The Luck Argument seems to show

More information

Does the exclusion argument put any pressure on dualism? Christian List and Daniel Stoljar To appear in the Australasian Journal of Philosophy

Does the exclusion argument put any pressure on dualism? Christian List and Daniel Stoljar To appear in the Australasian Journal of Philosophy This is a preprint of an article whose final and definitive form will be published in the Australasian Journal of Philosophy. The Journal is available online at: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/ 1 Does

More information

Divine omniscience, timelessness, and the power to do otherwise

Divine omniscience, timelessness, and the power to do otherwise Religious Studies 42, 123 139 f 2006 Cambridge University Press doi:10.1017/s0034412506008250 Printed in the United Kingdom Divine omniscience, timelessness, and the power to do otherwise HUGH RICE Christ

More information

CONTENT NORMATIVITY AND THE INTERDEPENDENCY OF BELIEF AND DESIRE. Seyed Ali Kalantari Lecturer of philosophy at the University of Isfahan, Iran

CONTENT NORMATIVITY AND THE INTERDEPENDENCY OF BELIEF AND DESIRE. Seyed Ali Kalantari Lecturer of philosophy at the University of Isfahan, Iran CONTENT NORMATIVITY AND THE INTERDEPENDENCY OF BELIEF AND DESIRE Seyed Ali Kalantari Lecturer of philosophy at the University of Isfahan, Iran Abstract The normativity of mental content thesis has been

More information

Encyclopedia of Animal Rights and Animal Welfare Andrew Johnson Published online: 04 Jun 2010.

Encyclopedia of Animal Rights and Animal Welfare Andrew Johnson Published online: 04 Jun 2010. This article was downloaded by: [Dr Kenneth Shapiro] On: 08 June 2015, At: 08:31 Publisher: Routledge Informa Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registered office: Mortimer

More information

The Mind Argument and Libertarianism

The Mind Argument and Libertarianism The Mind Argument and Libertarianism ALICIA FINCH and TED A. WARFIELD Many critics of libertarian freedom have charged that freedom is incompatible with indeterminism. We show that the strongest argument

More information

Truth At a World for Modal Propositions

Truth At a World for Modal Propositions Truth At a World for Modal Propositions 1 Introduction Existentialism is a thesis that concerns the ontological status of individual essences and singular propositions. Let us define an individual essence

More information

To link to this article:

To link to this article: This article was downloaded by: [the Bodleian Libraries of the University of Oxford] On: 20 April 2015, At: 06:14 Publisher: Routledge Informa Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954

More information

Foreknowledge and Freedom

Foreknowledge and Freedom Foreknowledge and Freedom Trenton Merricks Philosophical Review 120 (2011): 567-586. The bulk of my essay Truth and Freedom opposes fatalism, which is the claim that if there is a true proposition to the

More information

Each copy of any part of a JSTOR transmission must contain the same copyright notice that appears on the screen or printed page of such transmission.

Each copy of any part of a JSTOR transmission must contain the same copyright notice that appears on the screen or printed page of such transmission. Freedom and Miracles Author(s): John Martin Fischer Source: Noûs, Vol. 22, No. 2 (Jun., 1988), pp. 235-252 Published by: Blackwell Publishing Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2215861. Accessed:

More information

Martin s case for disjunctivism

Martin s case for disjunctivism Martin s case for disjunctivism Jeff Speaks January 19, 2006 1 The argument from naive realism and experiential naturalism.......... 1 2 The argument from the modesty of disjunctivism.................

More information

Shieva Kleinschmidt [This is a draft I completed while at Rutgers. Please do not cite without permission.] Conditional Desires.

Shieva Kleinschmidt [This is a draft I completed while at Rutgers. Please do not cite without permission.] Conditional Desires. Shieva Kleinschmidt [This is a draft I completed while at Rutgers. Please do not cite without permission.] Conditional Desires Abstract: There s an intuitive distinction between two types of desires: conditional

More information

BOOK REVIEWS. The Philosophical Review, Vol. 111, No. 4 (October 2002)

BOOK REVIEWS. The Philosophical Review, Vol. 111, No. 4 (October 2002) The Philosophical Review, Vol. 111, No. 4 (October 2002) John Perry, Knowledge, Possibility, and Consciousness. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2001. Pp. xvi, 221. In this lucid, deep, and entertaining book (based

More information