• Sideways music
    Analysis. forthcoming.
    There is a popular theory in the metaphysics of time according to which time is one of four similar dimensions that make up a single manifold that is appropriately called spacetime. One consequence of this thesis is that changing an object’s orientation in the manifold does not change its intrinsic features. In this paper I offer a new argument against this popular theory. I claim that an especially good performance of a particularly beautiful piece of music, when oriented within the manifold in…Read more
  • Each truth has a truthmaker: an entity in virtue of whose existence that truth is true. So say truthmaker maximalists. Arguments for maximalism are hard to find, whereas those against are legion. Most accept that maximalism comes at a significant cost, which many judge to be too high. The scales would seem to be balanced against maximalism. Yet, as I show here, maximalism can be derived from an acceptable premise which many will pre-theoretically accept.
  • Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereyra presents an original study of the place and role of the Identity of Indiscernibles in Leibniz's philosophy. The Principle of the Identity of Indiscernibles rules out numerically distinct but perfectly similar things; Leibniz derived it from more basic principles and used it to establish important philosophical theses. Rodriguez-Pereyra aims to establish what Leibniz meant by the Principle of Identity of Indiscernibles, what his arguments for and from it were, and to ass…Read more
  • Logic Through a Leibnizian Lens
    Philosophers' Imprint 19 (28). 2019.
    Leibniz's conceptual containment theory says that singular propositions of the form a is F are true when the complete concept of being a contains the concept of being F. In this paper, I provide a new semantics for first-order logic built around this idea. The semantics resolves longstanding problems for Leibniz's theory and can represent, without possible worlds, both hyperintensional distinctions among properties and a certain kind of presumably impossible situation that standard approaches ca…Read more
  • Logic for Philosophy
    Oxford University Press. 2010.
    Logic for Philosophy is an introduction to logic for students of contemporary philosophy. It is suitable both for advanced undergraduates and for beginning graduate students in philosophy. It covers (i) basic approaches to logic, including proof theory and especially model theory, (ii) extensions of standard logic that are important in philosophy, and (iii) some elementary philosophy of logic. It emphasizes breadth rather than depth. For example, it discusses modal logic and counterfactuals, but…Read more
  • Communication and Variance
    Martín Abreu Zavaleta
    Topoi 1-23. forthcoming.
    According to standard assumptions in semantics, ordinary users of a language have implicit beliefs about the truth-conditions of sentences in that language, and they often agree on those beliefs. For example, it is assumed that if Anna and John are both competent users of English and the former utters ‘grass is green’ in conversation with the latter, they will both believe that that sentence is true if and only if grass is green. These assumptions play an important role in an intuitively compell…Read more
  • The main goal of this paper is to investigate the relation between the meaning of a sentence and its truth conditions. We report on a comprehension experiment on counterfactual conditionals, based on a context in which a light is controlled by two switches. Our main finding is that the truth-conditionally equivalent clauses (i) "switch A or switch B is down" and (ii) "switch A and switch B are not both up" make different semantic contributions when embedded in a conditional antecedent. Assuming …Read more
  • I introduce a proof system for the logic of relative fundamentality, as well as a natural semantics with respect to which the system is both sound and complete. I then “modalise” the logic, and finally I discuss the properties of grounding given a suggested account of this notion in terms of necessity and relative fundamentality.
  • The question of what exists is often seen as one of the metaphysician’s primary concerns—an ontological stance is a central and basic component of a great many positions in metaphysics. Consider, in particular, the debate surrounding the metaphysics of time: the question of whether non-present entities exist is typically thought of as one of the fundamental issues at stake in the debate, with each position on the nature of time consisting in part of an answer to this question of ontology. My pur…Read more
  • This paper aims to draw attention to an explanatory problem posed by the existence of multiply realized or universal behavior exhibited by certain physical systems. The problem is to explain how it is possible that systems radically distinct at lower-scales can nevertheless exhibit identical or nearly identical behavior at upper-scales. Theoretically this is reflected by the fact that continuum theories such as fluid mechanics are spectacularly successful at predicting, describing, and explainin…Read more
  • Robert Batterman examines a form of scientific reasoning called asymptotic reasoning, arguing that it has important consequences for our understanding of the scientific process as a whole. He maintains that asymptotic reasoning is essential for explaining what physicists call universal behavior. With clarity and rigor, he simplifies complex questions about universal behavior, demonstrating a profound understanding of the underlying structures that ground them. This book introduces a valuable new…Read more
  • Form and inheritance in Aristotle's embryology
    Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 39 183-212. 2010.
    This article argues for an interpretation of Aristotle’s biological account of familial resemblance that allows us to read Aristotle’s embryology as employing the same concept of “form” as he employs in his Metaphysics. The dominant view for the last several decades has been that in order to account for the phenomenon of inherited characteristics, Aristotle’s biology must appeal to a “sub-specific” form, one that includes all of the traits that parents pass on to their offspring. That view, howe…Read more
  • Aristotle on Essence and Habitat
    Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 48 267-293. 2015.
    Despite his awareness that organisms are well suited to the habitats they are typically found in, Aristotle nowhere tries to explain this. It is unlikely that he thinks this “fit” (as I call it) between organisms and their habitats is simply a lucky coincidence, given how vehemently he rejects that as an explanation of the fit between organisms’ various body parts. But it is quite puzzling that Aristotle never explicitly addresses this, since it is a question that seemed so pressing to later phi…Read more
  • Belief and Indeterminacy
    Philosophical Review 121 (1): 1-54. 2012.
    An attractive approach to the semantic paradoxes holds that cases of semantic pathology give rise to indeterminacy. What attitude should a rational agent have toward a proposition that it takes to be indeterminate in this sense? Orthodoxy holds that rationality requires that an agent disbelieve such a proposition. I argue that a rational agent should be such that it is indeterminate whether it believes the proposition in question. For rational agents, indeterminacy in the objects of their attitu…Read more
  • Vagueness and semantic indiscriminability
    Philosophical Studies 160 (3): 365-377. 2012.
    I argue, pace Timothy Williamson, that one cannot provide an adequate account of what it is for a case to be borderline by appealing to facts about our inability to discriminate our actual situation from nearby counterfactual situations in which our language use differs in subtle ways. I consider the two most natural ways of using such resources to provide an account of what it is for a case to be borderline and argue that both face crippling defects. I argue that the problems faced by these two…Read more
  • Rational Probabilistic Incoherence
    Philosophical Review 122 (4): 527-575. 2013.
    Probabilism is the view that a rational agent's credences should always be probabilistically coherent. It has been argued that Probabilism follows, given the assumption that an epistemically rational agent ought to try to have credences that represent the world as accurately as possible. The key claim in this argument is that the goal of representing the world as accurately as possible is best served by having credences that are probabilistically coherent. This essay shows that this claim is fal…Read more
  • Calibration and Probabilism
    Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 1. 2014.
  • Unruly Words (review)
    Philosophical Review 124 (3): 415-419. 2015.
  • Agreement theorems for self-locating belief
    Review of Symbolic Logic 9 (2): 380-407. 2016.
    Abstract
  • I consider a puzzling case presented by Jose Benardete, and by appeal to this case develop a paradox involving counterfactual conditionals. I then show that this paradox may be leveraged to argue for certain non-obvious claims concerning the logic of counterfactuals.
  • Doxastic Logic
    In Jonathan Weisberg & Richard Pettigrew (eds.), The Open Handbook of Formal Epistemology, Philpapers Foundation. pp. 499-541. 2019.
  • Agreement and Updating For Self-Locating Belief
    Journal of Philosophical Logic 47 (3): 513-547. 2018.
    In this paper, I argue that some plausible principles concerning which credences are rationally permissible for agents given information about one another’s epistemic and credal states have some surprising consequences for which credences an agent ought to have in light of self-locating information. I provide a framework that allows us to state these constraints and draw out these consequences precisely. I then consider and assess the prospects for rejecting these prima facie plausible principle…Read more
  • A Problem for Credal Consequentialism
    In Jeffrey Dunn & Kristoffer Ahlstrom-Vij (eds.), Epistemic Consequentialism, . forthcoming.
  • I present an account of deterministic chance which builds upon the physico-mathematical approach to theorizing about deterministic chance known as 'the method of arbitrary functions'. This approach promisingly yields deterministic probabilities which align with what we take the chances to be---it tells us that there is approximately a 1/2 probability of a spun roulette wheel stopping on black, and approximately a 1/2 probability of a flipped coin landing heads up---but it requires some probabili…Read more
  • Causal decision theorists say that the good news an act carries about factors outside of your control does not speak in favor of performing that act. But, by providing information about factors outside of your control, an act can tell you two, importantly different, kinds of things. It can tell you that the world in which you find yourself is good; but so too can it tell you that the act itself is in a position to improve things. While the first kind of news does not speak in favor of an act, th…Read more
  • Weisberg ([2009]) provides an argument that neither conditionalization nor Jeffrey conditionalization is capable of accommodating the holist’s claim that beliefs acquired directly from experience can suffer undercutting defeat. I diagnose this failure as stemming from the fact that neither conditionalization nor Jeffrey conditionalization give any advice about how to rationally respond to theory-dependent evidence, and I propose a novel updating procedure that does tell us how to respond to evid…Read more
  • The Emergence of Causation
    Journal of Philosophy 112 (6): 281-308. 2015.
    Several philosophers have embraced the view that high-level events—events like Zimbabwe's monetary policy and its hyper-inflation—are causally related if their corresponding low-level, fundamental physical events are causally related. I dub the view which denies this without denying that high-level events are ever causally related causal emergentism. Several extant philosophical theories of causality entail causal emergentism, while others are inconsistent with the thesis. I illustrate this with…Read more
  • A theory of structural determination
    Philosophical Studies 173 (1): 159-186. 2016.
    While structural equations modeling is increasingly used in philosophical theorizing about causation, it remains unclear what it takes for a particular structural equations model to be correct. To the extent that this issue has been addressed, the consensus appears to be that it takes a certain family of causal counterfactuals being true. I argue that this account faces difficulties in securing the independent manipulability of the structural determination relations represented in a correct stru…Read more
  • Learning and Value Change
    Philosophers' Imprint 19 (29): 1--22. 2019.
    Accuracy-first accounts of rational learning attempt to vindicate the intuitive idea that, while rationally-formed belief need not be true, it is nevertheless likely to be true. To this end, they attempt to show that the Bayesian's rational learning norms are a consequence of the rational pursuit of accuracy. Existing accounts fall short of this goal, for they presuppose evidential norms which are not and cannot be vindicated in terms of the single-minded pursuit of accuracy. I propose an alt…Read more
  • No one can serve two epistemic masters
    J. Gallow
    Philosophical Studies 175 (10): 2389-2398. 2018.
    Consider two epistemic experts—for concreteness, let them be two weather forecasters. Suppose that you aren’t certain that they will issue identical forecasts, and you would like to proportion your degrees of belief to theirs in the following way: first, conditional on either’s forecast of rain being x, you’d like your own degree of belief in rain to be x. Secondly, conditional on them issuing different forecasts of rain, you’d like your own degree of belief in rain to be some weighted average o…Read more