•  76
    In recent literature on plurals the claim has often been made that the move from singular to plural expressions can be iterated, generating what are occasionally called higher-level plurals or superplurals, often correlated with superplural predicates. I argue that the idea that the singular-to-plural move can be iterated is questionable. I then show that the examples and arguments intended to establish that some expressions of natural language are in some sense higher-level plurals fail. Next, …Read more
  •  184
    Backwards causation still impossible
    Analysis 70 (1): 89-92. 2010.
    (No abstract is available for this citation)
  •  141
    Against characterizing mental states as propositional attitudes
    Philosophical Quarterly 47 (186): 84-89. 1997.
    The reason for characterizing mental states as propositional attitudes is sentence form: ‘S Vs that p’. However, many mental states are not ascribed by means of such sentences, and the sentences that ascribe them cannot be appropriately paraphrased. Moreover, even if a paraphrase were always available, that in itself would not establish the characterization. And the mental states that are ascribable by appropriate senses do not form any natural subset of mental states. A reason for the character…Read more
  •  151
    The impossibility of backwards causation
    Philosophical Quarterly 57 (228). 2007.
    Dummett and others have failed to show that an effect can precede its cause. Dummett claimed that 'backwards causation' is unproblematic in agentless worlds, and tried to show under what conditions it is rational to believe that even backwards agent-causation occurs. Relying on considerations originating in discussions of special relativity, I show that the latter conditions actually support the view that backwards agent-causation is impossible. I next show that in Dummett's agentless worlds exp…Read more
  •  123
    Could Sherlock Holmes Have Existed?
    Croatian Journal of Philosophy 10 (3): 175-181. 2010.
    In Naming and Necessity Kripke argued against the possible existence of fictional characters. I show that his argument is invalid, analyze the confusion it involves, and explain why the view that fictional characters could not have existed is implausible
  •  61
    I develop Special Relativity with backward-light-cone simultaneity, which I call, for reasons made clear in the paper, ‘Apparent Simultaneity’. In the first section I show some advantages of this approach. I then develop the kinematics in the second section. In the third section I apply the approach to the Twins Paradox: I show how it removes the paradox, and I explain why the paradox was a result of an artificial symmetry introduced to the description of the process by Einstein’s simultaneity d…Read more
  •  67
    In Naming and Necessity Kripke argues 'intuitively' that names are rigid. Unlike Kripke, Ben-Yami first introduces and justifies the Principle of the Independence of Reference (PIR), according to which the reference of a name is independent of what is said in the rest of the sentence containing it. Ben-Yami then derives rigidity, or something close to it, from the PIR. Additional aspects of the use of names and other expressions in modal contexts, explained by the PIR but not by the rigidity cla…Read more
  •  54
    Circumcision: What should be done?
    Journal of Medical Ethics 39 (7): 459-462. 2013.
    I explain why I think that considerations regarding the opposing rights involved in the practice of circumcision—rights of the individual to bodily integrity and rights of the community to practice its religion—would not help us decide on the desirable policy towards this controversial practice. I then suggest a few measures that are not in conflict with either religious or community rights but that can both reduce the harm that circumcision as currently practiced involves and bring about a chan…Read more