•  302
    A specter is haunting Hume scholarship: the specter of the “New Hume.” Contrary to more traditional interpretations, according to which Hume rejects belief in any conception of causation that invokes (metaphysically) necessary connections between distinct existences, proponents of the New Hume hold that Hume at the least allowed for the possibility of such connections—it’s just that he thought we couldn’t know much, if anything, about them, if we assume that they do exist. I will argue that the …Read more
  •  148
    In this paper I introduce the idea of a higher-order modal logic—not a modal logic for higher-order predicate logic, but rather a logic of higher-order modalities. “What is a higher-order modality?”, you might be wondering. Well, if a first-order modality is a way that some entity could have been—whether it is a mereological atom, or a mereological complex, or the universe as a whole—a higher-order modality is a way that a first-order modality could have been. First-order modality is modeled in …Read more
  •  46
    Alison M. Jaggar begins her article “Abortion and a Woman’s Right to Decide” by saying that she seeks to defend a right to abortion that is contingent on particular social circumstances; it is neither universal nor absolute. Her core claim is as follows: “… each woman should have the sole legal right to decide whether or not, in her own case, an abortion should be performed” (Living with Contradictions, p. 281). In formulating her ideas as she does, Jaggar hopes to sidestep a host of issues, suc…Read more
  •  230
    If one is in a moral quandary it is wise to look for ethical guidance if one has the time to do so. Ethical theories are, among other things, intended to be one possible source of ethical guidance. If such guidance is valuable, then in ethics there is an embarrassment of riches: There are multiple, well-accepted, yet mutually inconsistent theories. The disquieting thing is that, at present, it seems that we are not at all close to being able to determine which of them, if any, is right. How can …Read more
  •  50
    A Dilemma for Dialetheism
    The Dualist 15 (Spring): 21-31. 2010.
    Dialetheic accounts of the liar paradox hold that liar sentences are both true and false. One problem that besets accounts of the liar paradox is that of “revenge liars”. A revenge liar is a liar sentence which, while being of the same kind as the liar sentences an account attempts to handle, cannot be handled in the same way they are without generating contradictions that the account in question is powerless to resolve. It might be thought that dialetheic accounts are immune to revenge problems…Read more
  •  235
    In this article I define a strong conditional for classical sentential logic, and then extend it to three non-classical sentential logics. It is stronger than the material conditional and is not subject to the standard paradoxes of material implication, nor is it subject to some of the standard paradoxes of C. I. Lewis’s strict implication. My conditional has some counterintuitive consequences of its own, but I think its pros outweigh its cons. In any case, one can always augment one’s language …Read more
  •  175
    A very common view of Hume’s distinction between impressions and ideas is that it is based on their intrinsic properties; specifically, their force and vivacity. Some interpreters have challenged this,one being David Landy (Landy 2006). He argues that for Hume the difference lies instead in the fact that impressions are not copies of anything, while ideas are copies of impressions. I regard this view as unsatisfactory, not because it is fundamentally mistaken but because (to put it in Humean ter…Read more
  •  226
    In his article “Why Philosophical Theories of Evidence Are (and Ought to Be) Ignored by Scientists,” Peter Achinstein argues that philosophical theories of evidence are ignored by scientists because they rest on assumptions which make their concepts of evidence too weak for scientists to work with, or which entail that the truth or falsity of evidential statements can be determined a priori. Given that, as Achinstein argues, the truth of many evidential statements can only be determined empirica…Read more