•  9
    Lewis’s Global Descriptivism and Reference Magnetism
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98 (1): 192-198. 2020.
    ABSTRACTIn ‘Putnam’s Paradox’, Lewis defended global descriptivism and reference magnetism. According to Schwarz [2014], Lewis didn’t mean what he said there, and really held neither position. We present evidence from Lewis’s correspondence and publications which shows conclusively that Lewis endorsed both.
  •  2
    Quine’s views on ontology and naturalism are well-known but rarely considered in tandem. According to my interpretation the connection between them is vital. I read Quine as a global epistemic structuralist. Quine thought we only ever know objects qua solutions to puzzles about significant intersections in observations. Objects are always accessed descriptively, via their roles in our best theory. Quine’s Kant lectures contain an early version of epistemic structuralism with uncharacteristic rem…Read more
  •  123
    Lewis’s Global Descriptivism and Reference Magnetism
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98 (1): 192-198. 2020.
    In ‘Putnam’s Paradox’, Lewis defended global descriptivism and reference magnetism. According to Schwarz [2014], Lewis didn’t mean what he said there, and really held neither position. We present evidence from Lewis’s correspondence and publications which shows conclusively that Lewis endorsed both.
  • Quine, Structure, and Ontology (edited book)
    Oxford University Press. 2020.
    W.V. Quine, a champion of philosophical naturalism and pioneer of mathematical logic, was one of the most important philosophers of the 20th century. This volume provides a full picture of the development of Quine's views on structure and how it permeates and shapes his attitude to a range of philosophical questions.
  •  205
    Quine, Ontology, and Physicalism
    In Robert Sinclair (ed.), Science and Sensibilia by W.V. Quine: The 1980 Immanuel Kant Lectures, Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 181-204. 2019.
    Quine's views on ontology and naturalism are well-known but rarely considered in tandem. According to my interpretation the connection between them is vital. I read Quine as a global epistemic structuralist. Quine thought we only ever know objects qua solutions to puzzles about significant intersections in observations. Objects are always accessed descriptively, via their roles in our best theory. Quine's Kant lectures contain an early version of epistemic structuralism with uncharacteristic rem…Read more
  •  141
    Note on the Significance of the New Logic
    The Reasoner 6 (12): 47-48. 2018.
    Brief note explaining the content, importance, and historical context of my joint translation of Quine's The Significance of the New Logic with my single-authored historical-philosophical essay 'Willard Van Orman Quine's Philosophical Development in the 1930s and 1940s'.
  •  65
    The Significance of the New Logic (edited book)
    with Walter Carnielli and William Pickering
    Cambridge University Press. 2018.
    W. V. Quine was one of the most influential figures of twentieth-century American analytic philosophy. Although he wrote predominantly in English, in Brazil in 1942 he gave a series of lectures on logic and its philosophy in Portuguese, subsequently published as the book O Sentido da Nova Lógica. The book has never before been fully translated into English, and this volume is the first to make its content accessible to Anglophone philosophers. Quine would go on to develop revolutionary ideas abo…Read more
  •  359
    Willard Van Orman Quine's Philosophical Development in the 1930s and 1940s
    In Walter Carnielli, Frederique Janssen-Lauret & William Pickering (eds.), The Significance of the New Logic, Cambridge University Press. 2018.
    As analytic philosophy is becoming increasingly aware of and interested in its own history, the study of that field is broadening to include, not just its earliest beginnings, but also the mid-twentieth century. One of the towering figures of this epoch is W.V. Quine (1908-2000), champion of naturalism in philosophy of science, pioneer of mathematical logic, trying to unite an austerely physicalist theory of the world with the truths of mathematics, psychology, and linguistics. Quine's posthumou…Read more
  •  1295
    In 1901 Russell had envisaged the new analytic philosophy as uniquely systematic, borrowing the methods of science and mathematics. A century later, have Russell’s hopes become reality? David Lewis is often celebrated as a great systematic metaphysician, his influence proof that we live in a heyday of systematic philosophy. But, we argue, this common belief is misguided: Lewis was not a systematic philosopher, and he didn’t want to be. Although some aspects of his philosophy are systematic, main…Read more
  •  883
    Elisabeth of Bohemia as a Naturalistic Dualist
    In Emily Thomas (ed.), Early Modern Women on Metaphysics, Cambridge University Press. pp. 171-187. 2018.
    Elisabeth was the first of Descartes' interlocutors to press concerns about mind-body union and interaction, and the only one to receive a detailed reply, unsatisfactory though she found it. Descartes took her tentative proposal `to concede matter and extension to the soul' for a confused version of his own view: `that is nothing but to conceive it united to the body. Contemporary commentators take Elisabeth for a materialist or at least a critic of dualism. I read her instead as a dualist of a …Read more
  •  75
    Physicalistic theories of psychology are a classic case of scientific imperialism: the explanatory capacity of physics, both with respect to its methods and to its domain, is taken to extend beyond the traditional realm of physics, and into that of psychology. I argue in this paper that this particular imperialistic venture has failed. Contemporary psychology uses methods not modelled on those of physics, embracing first-personal methodology where physics is strictly impersonal. I make the case …Read more
  •  500
    The Quinean Roots of Lewis's Humeanism
    The Monist 100 (2): 249-265. 2017.
    An odd dissensus between confident metaphysicians and neopragmatist antimetaphysicians pervades early twenty-first century analytic philosophy. Each faction is convinced their side has won the day, but both are mistaken about the philosophical legacy of the twentieth century. More historical awareness is needed to overcome the current dissensus. Lewis and his possible-world system are lionised by metaphysicians; Quine’s pragmatist scruples about heavy-duty metaphysics inspire antimetaphysicians.…Read more
  •  73
    When we use a directly referential expression to denote an object, do we incur an ontological commitment to that object, as Russell and Barcan Marcus held? Not according to Quine, whose regimented language has only variables as denoting expressions, but no constants to model direct reference. I make a case for a more liberal conception of ontological commitment—more wide-ranging than Quine’s—which allows for commitment to individuals, with an improved logical language of regimentation. The reaso…Read more
  •  64
    Meta-Ontology, Naturalism, and The Quine-Barcan Marcus Debate
    In Frederique Janssen-Lauret & Gary Kemp (eds.), Quine and His Place in History, Palgrave. pp. 146-167. 2015.
    Twenty-first century critics frequently misread Quinean ontological commitment as a toothless doctrine of anti-metaphysical pragmatism. Janssen-Lauret's historical investigations reveal that they misinterpret the influence of Quine's naturalism. His naturalistic view of philosophy as continuous with science informs a much more interesting conception of ontological commitments as generated by indispensable explanatory roles. But Janssen-Lauret uncovers a previously undetected weakness in Quine's …Read more
  •  18
    Quine and His Place in History (edited book)
    with Gary Kemp
    Palgrave. 2015.
    Containing three previously unpublished papers by W.V. Quine as well as historical, exegetical, and critical papers by several leading Quine scholars including Hylton, Ebbs, and Ben-Menahem, this volume aims to remedy the comparative lack of historical investigation of Quine and his philosophical context.
  •  37
    Making Room for Women in our Tools for Teaching Logic: A Proposal for Promoting Gender-Inclusiveness
    Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Tools for Teaching Logic. 2015.
    Logic is one of the most male-dominated areas within the already hugely male-dominated subject of philosophy. Popular hypotheses for this disparity include a preponderance of confident, mathematically-minded male students in the classroom, the historical association between logic and maleness, and the lack of female role-models for students, though to date none of these have been empirically tested. In this paper I discuss the effects of various attempts to address these potential causes whilst te…Read more
  •  378
    Susan Stebbing, Incomplete Symbols and Foundherentist Meta-Ontology
    Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 5 (2): 6-17. 2017.
    Susan Stebbing’s work on incomplete symbols and analysis was instrumental in clarifying, sharpening, and improving the project of logical constructions which was pivotal to early analytic philosophy. She dispelled use-mention confusions by restricting the term ‘incomplete symbol’ to expressions eliminable through analysis, rather than those expressions’ purported referents, and distinguished linguistic analysis from analysis of facts. In this paper I explore Stebbing’s role in analytic philosoph…Read more
  •  102
    A priori reflection, common sense and intuition have proved unreliable sources of information about the world outside of us. So the justification for a theory of the categories must derive from the empirical support of the scientific theories whose descriptions it unifies and clarifies. We don’t have reliable information about the de re modal profiles of external things either because the overwhelming proportion of our knowledge of the external world is theoretical—knowledge by description rathe…Read more