• Spinoza on Relations
    Zachary Gartenberg
    In Yitzhak Y. Melamed (ed.), A Companion to Spinoza. pp. 179-188. 2021.
    Unlike many of his medieval scholastic predecessors, and unlike his younger contemporary, Leibniz, Spinoza had little explicitly to say about relations -- their logic, epistemology, and ontology. This might seem surprising, as many recent commentators have profitably explored "Spinozistic" relations -- relations, such as 'conception', 'causation', and 'inherence', that Spinoza invokes in a characteristic way -- in elucidating features of his thought. Yet we should not ignore the significance t…Read more
  • Holmes exists is false. How can this be, when there is no one for the sentence to misdescribe? Part of the answer is that a sentence’s topic depends on context. The king of France is bald, normally unevaluable, is false qua description of the bald people. Likewise Holmes exists is false qua description of the things that exist; it misdescribes those things as having Holmes among them. This does not explain, though, how Holmes does not exist differs in cognitive content from, say, Vulcan does not…Read more
  • Why You Should Vote to Change the Outcome
    Philosophy and Public Affairs 48 (4): 422-446. 2020.
    Prevailing opinion—defended by Jason Brennan and others—is that voting to change the outcome is irrational, since although the payoffs of tipping an election can be quite large, the probability of doing so is extraordinarily small. This paper argues that prevailing opinion is incorrect. Voting is shown to be rational so long as two conditions are satisfied: First, the average social benefit of electing the better candidate must be at least twice as great as the individual cost of voting, and sec…Read more
  • Chance and the Continuum Hypothesis
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. forthcoming.
    This paper presents and defends an argument that the continuum hypothesis is false, based on considerations about objective chance and an old theorem due to Banach and Kuratowski. More specifically, I argue that the probabilistic inductive methods standardly used in science presuppose that every proposition about the outcome of a chancy process has a certain chance between 0 and 1. I also argue in favour of the standard view that chances are countably additive. Since it is possible to randomly p…Read more
  • Philosophers have observed that metaphysical necessity appears to be a true or real or genuine form of necessity while epistemic necessity does not. Similarly, natural necessity appears genuine while deontic necessity does not. But what is it for a form of necessity to be genuine? I defend an account of genuine necessity in explanatory terms. The genuine forms of necessity, I argue, are those that provide what I call necessitarianexplanation. I discuss the relationship of necessitarian explanati…Read more
  • The paper discusses Ian Wells’s recent argument that there is a decision problem in which followers of Evidential Decision Theory end up poorer than followers of Causal Decision Theory despite having the same opportunities for money. It defends Evidential Decision Theory against Wells’s argument, on the following grounds. Wells's has not presented a decision problem in which his main claim is true. Four possible decision problems can be generated from his central example, in each of which follow…Read more
  • Outline of a theory of truth
    Saul Kripke
    Journal of Philosophy 72 (19): 690-716. 1975.
    A formal theory of truth, alternative to tarski's 'orthodox' theory, based on truth-value gaps, is presented. the theory is proposed as a fairly plausible model for natural language and as one which allows rigorous definitions to be given for various intuitive concepts, such as those of 'grounded' and 'paradoxical' sentences
  • Aboutness
    Princeton University Press. 2014.
  • Against Counterfactual Miracles
    Philosophical Review 125 (2): 241-286. 2016.
    This paper considers how counterfactuals should be evaluated on the assumption that determinism is true. I argue against Lewis's influential view that the actual laws of nature would have been false if something had happened that never actually happened, and in favour of the competing view that history would have been different all the way back. I argue that we can do adequate justice to our ordinary practice of relying on a wide range of historical truths in evaluating counterfactuals by sayi…Read more