•  18
    Why Reduction is Underrated
    History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis 22 (1): 121-136. 2019.
    The key idea behind reduction is a simple and familiar one: it’s that there’s more to things than meets the eye. Surprisingly, this simple idea provides the resources to block a number of notable anti-reductionist arguments: Mackie’s argument from queerness against objective moral values, Kripke’s Humphrey objection and its recent variants, and Jubien’s objection from irrelevance against Lewisian modal realism. What is wrong with each of these arguments is that they suppose that what is to be re…Read more
  • Tropes
    In D. H. Mellor & Alex Oliver (eds.), Properties, Oxford University Press. 1997.
  •  19
    Agnosticism and the Balance of Evidence
    In Mirosław Szatkowski (ed.), Ontology of Theistic Beliefs, De Gruyter. pp. 1-18. 2018.
  •  22
    Why Only Us? Language and Evolution
    Analysis 78 (2): 381-383. 2018.
    Why Only Us? Language and Evolution By BerwickRobert C. and ChomskyNoamMassachusetts Institute of Technology, 2015. 224 pp. £17.95 paper.
  •  29
    © The Author 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Analysis Trust. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: [email protected] article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model...This is a clear and extremely stimulating book in which the authors present a series of innovative, even unorthodox, views on the relation between language and biology. It treats the study of language, a…Read more
  •  24
    Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 94 (1): 253-262. 1994.
  •  169
    Acquaintance and de re Thought
    Synthese 156 (1): 79-96. 2007.
  •  15
    D.M. Armstrong, A World of States of Affairs (review)
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 76 (4): 640. 1998.
  •  58
    Modality and acquaintance with properties
    The Monist 81 (1): 44--68. 1998.
    What is required for you to know what a certain property is? And what is required for you to have the concept of that property? Hume held that a person who has never tasted a pineapple cannot know what the property tasting like a pineapple is. He also thought that this person cannot have the corresponding concept. A subsequent tradition in empiricism generalises these claims at least to all the so-called "secondary qualities." I will argue that this tradition is mistaken. I will argue that there…Read more
  •  220
    Fictionalism and the attitudes
    Philosophical Studies 139 (3). 2008.
    This paper distinguishes revolutionary fictionalism from other forms of fictionalism and also from other philosophical views. The paper takes fictionalism about mathematical objects and fictionalism about scientific unobservables as illustrations. The paper evaluates arguments that purport to show that this form of fictionalism is incoherent on the grounds that there is no tenable distinction between believing a sentence and taking the fictionalist's distinctive attitude to that sentence. The ar…Read more
  •  248
    Mathematical explanation and indispensability arguments
    Philosophical Quarterly 59 (237): 641-658. 2009.
    We defend Joseph Melia's thesis that the role of mathematics in scientific theory is to 'index' quantities, and that even if mathematics is indispensable to scientific explanations of concrete phenomena, it does not explain any of those phenomena. This thesis is defended against objections by Mark Colyvan and Alan Baker.
  •  52
    Defending promiscuous realism about natural kinds
    Philosophical Quarterly 46 (185): 496-500. 1996.
  •  475
    Animalism and Deferentialism
    Dialectica 67 (4): 605-609. 2013.
    Animalism is the theory that we are animals: in other words, that each of us is numerically identical to an animal. An alternative theory maintains that we are not animals but that each of us is constituted by an animal. Call this alternative theory neo-Lockean constitutionalism or Lockeanism for short. Stephan Blatti (2012) offers to advance the debate between animalism and Lockeanism by providing a new argument for animalism. In this note, we present our own objection to Blatti's argument, and…Read more
  •  133
    The metaphysics within physics • by Tim Maudlin
    Analysis 69 (2): 374-375. 2009.
    The basic idea of Maudlin's superb book is methodological: ‘metaphysics, insofar as it is concerned with the natural world, can do no better than to reflect on physics. Physical theories provide us with the best handle we have on what there is, and the philosopher's proper task is the interpretation and elucidation of those theories. In particular, when choosing the fundamental posits of one's ontology, one must look to scientific practice rather than to philosophical prejudice’ .The apparently …Read more
  •  1
    Review of Armstrong (1997) (review)
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 76 (4): 640-642. 1998.
  • Natural kinds
    In Edward Craig (ed.), Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Routledge. pp. 682-5. 1998.
  •  73
    II—Persistent Philosophical Disagreement
    Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 117 (1): 23-40. 2017.
  •  706
    Philosophical Studies 156 (3): 321-337. 2011.
    There is a recent and growing trend in philosophy that involves deferring to the claims of certain disciplines outside of philosophy, such as mathematics, the natural sciences, and linguistics. According to this trend— deferentialism , as we will call it—certain disciplines outside of philosophy make claims that have a decisive bearing on philosophical disputes, where those claims are more epistemically justified than any philosophical considerations just because those claims are made by those d…Read more
  •  109
    Two Anti-Platonist Strategies
    Mind 119 (476): 1107-1116. 2010.
    This paper considers two strategies for undermining indispensability arguments for mathematical Platonism. We defend one strategy (the Trivial Strategy) against a criticism by Joseph Melia. In particular, we argue that the key example Melia uses against the Trivial Strategy fails. We then criticize Melia’s chosen strategy (the Weaseling Strategy.) The Weaseling Strategy attempts to show that it is not always inconsistent or irrational knowingly to assert p and deny an implication of p . We argue…Read more
  •  389
    Moral Error Theory and the Problem of Evil
    European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 1 (2). 2009.
    Moral error theory claims that no moral sentence is (nonvacuously) true. Atheism claims that the existence of evil in the world is incompatible with, or makes improbable, the existence of God. Is moral error theory compatible with atheism? This paper defends the thesis that it is compatible against criticisms by Nicholas Sturgeon
  •  769
    Is ontological revisionism uncharitable?
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (3): 405-425. 2016.
    Some philosophers deny the existence of composite material objects. Other philosophers hold that whenever there are some things, they compose something. The purpose of this paper is to scrutinize an objection to these revisionary views: the objection that nihilism and universalism are both unacceptably uncharitable because each of them implies that a great deal of what we ordinarily believe is false. Our main business is to show how nihilism and universalism can be defended against the objection…Read more
  •  19
    An Introduction to Philosophical Methods is the first book to survey the various methods that philosophers use to support their views. Rigorous yet accessible, the book introduces and illustrates the methodological considerations that are involved in current philosophical debates. Where there is controversy, the book presents the case for each side, but highlights where the key difficulties with them lie. While eminently student-friendly, the book makes an important contribution to the debate re…Read more
  •  226
    Scepticism about Grounding
    In Fabrice Correia & Benjamin Schnieder (eds.), Metaphysical Grounding: Understanding the Structure of Reality, Cambridge University Press. pp. 81. 2012.
  •  125
    In his stimulating new book The Construction of Logical Space , Agustín Rayo offers a new account of mathematics, which he calls ‘Trivialist Platonism’. In this article, we take issue with Rayo’s case for Trivialist Platonism and his claim that the view overcomes Benacerraf’s dilemma. Our conclusion is that Rayo has not shown that Trivialist Platonism has any advantage over nominalism