•  615
    Two kinds of possibility
    Supplement to the Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 78 (1): 1-22. 2004.
    I defend a version of Kripke's claim that the metaphysically necessary and the knowable a priori are independent. On my version, there are two independent families of modal notions, metaphysical and epistemic, neither stronger than the other. Metaphysical possibility is constrained by the laws of nature. Logical validity, I suggest, is best understood in terms of epistemic necessity.
  •  293
    Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 108 (1pt1): 1-21. 2008.
  •  216
    Possible knowledge of unknown truth
    Synthese 173 (1). 2010.
    Fitch’s argument purports to show that for any unknown truth, p , there is an unknowable truth, namely, that p is true and unknown; for a contradiction follows from the assumption that it is possible to know that p is true and unknown. In earlier work I argued that there is a sense in which it is possible to know that p is true and unknown, from a counterfactual perspective; that is, there can be possible, non-actual knowledge, of the actual situation, that in that situation, p is true and unkno…Read more
  •  195
    The paradox of knowability
    Mind 94 (376): 557-568. 1985.
  •  154
    What if ? Questions about conditionals
    Mind and Language 18 (4). 2003.
    Section 1 briefly examines three theories of indicative conditionals. The Suppositional Theory is defended, and shown to be incompatible with understanding conditionals in terms of truth conditions. Section 2 discusses the psychological evidence about conditionals reported by Over and Evans (this volume). Section 3 discusses the syntactic grounds offered by Haegeman (this volume) for distinguishing two sorts of conditional.
  •  89
    Indeterminacy de Re
    Philosophical Topics 28 (1): 27--44. 2000.
  •  82
    Mellor on chance and causation (review)
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 48 (3): 411-433. 1997.
    Mellor's subject is singular causation between facts, expressed ‘E because C’. His central requirement for causation is that the chance that E if C be greater than the chance that E if C: chc(E)>chc(E). The book is as much about chance as it is about causation. I show that his way of distinguishing chc (E) from the traditional notion of conditional chance leaves than him with a problem about the existence of chQ(P) when Q is false (Section 3); and also that any notion of chance which conforms to…Read more
  •  77
    Vagueness by Degrees
    In Rosanna Keefe & Peter Smith (eds.), Vagueness: A Reader, Mit Press. 1997.
    Book synopsis: Vagueness is currently the subject of vigorous debate in the philosophy of logic and language. Vague terms-such as "tall", "red", "bald", and "tadpole"—have borderline cases ; and they lack well-defined extensions. The phenomenon of vagueness poses a fundamental challenge to classical logic and semantics, which assumes that propositions are either true or false and that extensions are determinate. Another striking problem to which vagueness gives rise is the sorites paradox. If yo…Read more
  •  71
    The applicability of bayesian convergence-of-opinion theorems to the case of actual scientific inference
    with Jon Dorling
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 27 (2): 160-161. 1976.
  •  65
    In this thesis, Semantics, Meta-Semantics, and Ontology, I provide a critique of the method of truth in metaphysics. Davidson has suggested that we can determine the metaphysical nature and structure of reality through semantic investigations. By contrast, I argue that it is not semantics, but meta-semantics, which reveals the metaphysically necessary and sufficient truth conditions of our claims. As a consequence I reject the Quinean criterion of ontological commitment. In Part I, chapter 1, I …Read more
  •  56
    Estimating Conditional Chances and Evaluating Counterfactuals
    Studia Logica 102 (4): 691-707. 2014.
    The paper addresses a puzzle about the probabilistic evaluation of counterfactuals, raised by Ernest Adams as a problem for his own theory. I discuss Brian Skyrms’s response to the puzzle. I compare this puzzle with other puzzles about counterfactuals that have arisen more recently. And I attempt to solve the puzzle in a way that is consistent with Adams’s proposal about counterfactuals
  •  50
    We provide an introduction to some of the key issues raised in this volume by considering how individual chapters bear on the prospects of what may be called a ‘counterfactual process view’ of causal reasoning. According to such a view, counterfactual thought is an essential part of the processing involved in making causal judgements, at least in a central range of cases that are critical to a subject’s understanding of what it is for one thing to cause another. We argue that one fruitful way of…Read more
  •  45
    The Logic of Uncertainty
    Critica 27 (81): 27-54. 1995.
  •  35
    Matter-of-Fact Conditionals
    with Richard Jeffrey
    Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 65 (1). 1991.
  •  29
    Meaning, Bivalence and Realism
    Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 81 (n/a). 1980.
  •  26
    Verificationism and the Manifestations of Meaning
    with Anthony Appiah
    Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 59 (1). 1985.
  •  26
    The mystery of the missing boundary (review)
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 71 (3). 2005.
  •  26
    The philosophical problem of vagueness
    Legal Theory 7 (4): 371-378. 2001.
    Think of the color spectrum, spread out before you. You can identify the different colors with ease. But if you are asked to indicate the point at which one color ends and the next begins, you are at a loss. "There is no such point", is a natural thought: one color just shades gradually into the next
  •  24
    Book synopsis: Philosophers have long been fascinated by the connection between cause and effect: are 'causes' things we can experience, or are they concepts provided by our minds? The study of causation goes back to Aristotle, but resurged with David Hume and Immanuel Kant, and is now one of the most important topics in metaphysics. Most of the recent work done in this area has attempted to place causation in a deterministic, scientific, worldview. But what about the unpredictable and chancey w…Read more
  •  20
    The Presidential Address: Counterfactuals
    Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 108 (1pt3). 2008.