•  213
    Carving Content at the Joints
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 38 (S1): 145-177. 2008.
    Here is Frege in Foundations of Arithmetic, § 64:The judgment 'Line a is parallel to line b', in symbols: ab, can be taken as an identity. If we do this, we obtain the concept of direction, and say: 'The direction of line a is equal to the direction of line b.' Thus we replace the symbol by the more generic symbol =, through removing what is specific in the content of the former and dividing it between a and b. We carve up the content in a way different from the original way, and this yields us …Read more
  •  201
    Superproportionality and mind-body relations
    Theoria 16 (40): 65-75. 2001.
    Mental causes are threatened from two directions: from below, since they would appear to be screened off by lower-order, e.g., neural states; and from within, since they would also appear to be screened off by intrinsic, e.g., syntactical states. A principle needed to parry the first threat -causes should be proportional to their effects- appears to leave us open to the second; for why should unneeded extrinsic detail be any less offensive to proportionality than excess microstructure? I say tha…Read more
  •  197
    Relevance Without Minimality
    In Andy Egan & Dirk Kindermann (eds.), Unstructured Content, Oxford University Press. forthcoming.
  •  197
    Precis of aboutness
    Philosophical Studies 174 (3): 771-777. 2017.
    A lightning fast summary of Yablo, Aboutness, cutting many corners in the interests of brevity. The emphasis is on “ways.” Substituting “ways for S to be true” in for “worlds in which S is true” improves a number of philosophical explanations. The subject matter of S is identified with S’s ways of holding in a world, or failing, as the case may be. S contains T iff T is implied by S, and T’s ways of being true are implied by ways for S to be true ; this kind of way-implication is the same as sub…Read more
  •  185
    Intrinsicness
    Philosophical Topics 26 (1-2): 479-505. 1999.
  •  182
    Parts and differences
    Philosophical Studies 173 (1): 141-157. 2016.
    Part/whole is said in many ways: the leg is part of the table, the subset is part of the set, rectangularity is part of squareness, and so on. Do the various flavors of part/whole have anything in common? They may be partial orders, but so are lots of non-mereological relations. I propose an “upward difference transmission” principle: x is part of y if and only if x cannot change in specified respects while y stays the same in those respects
  •  178
    Singling out properties
    Philosophical Perspectives 9 477-502. 1995.
  •  160
    Seven habits of highly effective thinkers
    In Bernard Elevitch (ed.), The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy, Philosophy Documentation Center. pp. 35-45. 2000.
    By effective thinkers I mean not people who think effectively, but people who understand “how it’s done,” i.e., people not paralyzed by the philosophical problem of epiphenomenalism. I argue that mental causes are not preempted by either neural or narrow content states, and that extrinsically individuated mental states are not out of proportion with their putative effects. I give three examples/models of how an extrinsic cause might be more proportional to an effect than the competition
  •  156
    Definitions, consistent and inconsistent
    Philosophical Studies 72 (2-3). 1993.
  •  156
    De facto dependence
    Journal of Philosophy 99 (3): 130-148. 2002.
  •  155
    A reply to new Zeno
    Analysis 60 (2). 2000.
  •  150
    Aboutness
    Princeton University Press. 2014.
  •  146
    Reply to Fine on Aboutness
    Philosophical Studies 175 (6): 1495-1512. 2018.
    A reply to Fine’s critique of Aboutness. Fine contrasts two notions of truthmaker, and more generally two notions of “state.” One is algebraic; states are sui generis entities grasped primarily through the conditions they satisfy. The other uses set theory; states are sets of worlds, or, perhaps, collections of such sets. I try to defend the second notion and question some seeming advantages of the first.
  •  139
    Truth and reflection
    Journal of Philosophical Logic 14 (3). 1985.
    Many topics have not been covered, in most cases because I don't know quite what to say about them. Would it be possible to add a decidability predicate to the language? What about stronger connectives, like exclusion negation or Lukasiewicz implication? Would an expanded language do better at expressing its own semantics? Would it contain new and more terrible paradoxes? Can the account be supplemented with a workable notion of inherent truth (see note 36)? In what sense does stage semantics li…Read more
  •  132
    Grounding, dependence, and paradox
    Journal of Philosophical Logic 11 (1). 1982.
  •  127
    Prime causation (review)
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 70 (2). 2005.
    No one doubts that mental states can be wide. Why should this seem to prevent them from causing behavior? Tim points to an "internalist line of thought"
  •  125
    Explanation, Extrapolation, and Existence
    Mind 121 (484): 1007-1029. 2012.
    Mark Colyvan (2010) raises two problems for ‘easy road’ nominalism about mathematical objects. The first is that a theory’s mathematical commitments may run too deep to permit the extraction of nominalistic content. Taking the math out is, or could be, like taking the hobbits out of Lord of the Rings. I agree with the ‘could be’, but not (or not yet) the ‘is’. A notion of logical subtraction is developed that supports the possibility, questioned by Colyvan, of bracketing a theory’s mathematical …Read more
  •  118
    De Facto Dependence
    Journal of Philosophy 99 (3): 130. 2002.
  •  118
    Things: Papers on Objects, Events, and Properties
    Oxford University Press. 2010.
    Identity, Essence, and Indiscernibility - Intrinsicness - Cause and Essence - Advertisement for a Sketch of an Outline of a Prototheory of Causation - Does Ontology Rest on a Mistake? - Apriority and Existence - Go Figure: A Path through Fictionalism - Abstract Objects: A Case Study - The Myth of the Seven - Carving Content at the Joints - Non-Catastrophic Presupposition Failure - Must Existence-Questions Have Answers?
  •  112
    Almog on Descartes’s Mind and Body (review)
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 70 (3). 2005.
    Descartes thought his mind and body could exist apart, and that this attested to a real distinction between them. The challenge as Almog initially describes it is to find a reading of “can exist apart” that is strong enough to establish a real distinction, yet weak enough to be justified by what Descartes offers as evidence: that DM and DB can be conceived apart.
  •  105
    Open knowledge and changing the subject
    Philosophical Studies 174 (4): 1047-1071. 2017.
    Knowledge is closed under implication, according to standard theories. Orthodoxy can allow, though, that apparent counterexamples to closure exist, much as Kripkeans recognize the existence of illusions of possibility which they seek to explain away. Should not everyone, orthodox or not, want to make sense of “intimations of openness”? This paper compares two styles of explanation: evidence that boosts P’s probability need not boost that of its consequence Q; evidence bearing on P’s subject matt…Read more
  •  104
    Almog on Descartes’s Mind and Body
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 70 (3): 709-716. 2005.
    Descartes thought his mind and body could exist apart, and that this attested to a real distinction between them. The challenge as Almog initially describes it is to find a reading of “can exist apart” that is strong enough to establish a real distinction, yet weak enough to be justified by what Descartes offers as evidence: that DM and DB can be conceived apart.
  •  101
    Thoughts: Papers on Mind, Meaning, and Modality
    Oxford University Press. 2008.
    The real distinction between mind and body -- Is conceivability a guide to possibility? -- Textbook kripkeanism and the open texture of concepts -- Coulda, woulda, shoulda -- No fool's cold : notes on illusions of possibility -- Beyond rigidification : the importance of being really actual -- How in the world? -- Mental causation -- Singling out properties -- Wide causation -- Causal relevance : mental, moral, and epistemic.
  •  89
    Necessity, Essence, and Individuation: A Defense of Conventionalism
    with Alan Sidelle
    Philosophical Review 101 (4): 878. 1992.
  •  81
    'What am I?' Descartes and the mind-body problem - reply (review)
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 70 (3): 717-734. 2005.
    In his Meditations, René Descartes asks, "what am I?" His initial answer is "a man." But he soon discards it: "But what is a man? Shall I say 'a rational animal'? No: for then I should inquire what an animal is, what rationality is, and in this way one question would lead down the slope to harder ones." Instead of understanding what a man is, Descartes shifts to two new questions: "What is Mind?" and "What is Body?" These questions develop into Descartes's main philosophical preoccupation: the M…Read more
  •  80
    The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Thinkers
    The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy 9 35-45. 2000.
    By effective thinkers I mean not people who think effectively, but people who understand “how it’s done,” i.e., people not paralyzed by the philosophical problem of epiphenomenalism. I argue that mental causes are not preempted by either neural or narrow content states, and that extrinsically individuated mental states are not out of proportion with their putative effects. I give three examples/models of how an extrinsic cause might be more proportional to an effect than the competition