• Contrastive Knowledge
    In Tamar Szabo Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Oxford Studies in Epistemology Volume 1, Oxford University Press. 2005.
  • Ground Functionalism
    Oxford Studies in the Philosophy of Mind. 2021.
  •  76
    Taking causing out of Bennett's Making Things Up
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 63 (7): 722-744. 2020.
    ABSTRACT In Making Things Up, Bennett defends the intriguing idea that causation should be included among the building relations. I critique Bennett’s arguments for inclusion, and claim that inclusion distorts her own treatments of causation, relative fundamentality, and absolute fundamentality. Instead, I argue for treating causation and grounding as separate species of generative, explanatory difference-making.
  •  81
    Quantum holism: nonseparability as common ground
    Synthese 197 (10): 4131-4160. 2020.
    Quantum mechanics seems to portray nature as nonseparable, in the sense that it allows spatiotemporally separated entities to have states that cannot be fully specified without reference to each other. This is often said to implicate some form of “holism.” We aim to clarify what this means, and why this seems plausible. Our core idea is that the best explanation for nonseparability is a “common ground” explanation, which casts nonseparable entities in a holistic light, as scattered reflections o…Read more
  •  475
    Causes as probability raisers of processes
    Journal of Philosophy 98 (2): 75-92. 2001.
    Causation, according to David Hume, is one of the three fundamental conceptual relations (along with resemblance and contiguity), and is the foundation of all reasoning concerning matters of fact. Causation, according to various contemporary philosophers, is required for the analysis of metaphysical concepts such as persistence, scientific concepts such as explanation and disposition, epistemic concepts such as perception and warrant, ethical concepts such as action and responsibility, legal con…Read more
  • Contrastive Knowledge
    Oxford Studies in Epistemology 1. 2006.
  •  477
    Knowledge ascriptions seem context sensitive. Yet it is widely thought that epistemic contextualism does not have a plausible semantic implementation. We aim to overcome this concern by articulating and defending an explicit contextualist semantics for ‘know,’ which integrates a fairly orthodox contextualist conception of knowledge as the elimination of the relevant alternatives, with a fairly orthodox “Amherst” semantics for A-quantification over a contextually variable domain of situations. Wh…Read more
  •  114
    Anchoring as Grounding: On Epstein’s the Ant Trap
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 99 (3): 749-767. 2019.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, Volume 99, Issue 3, Page 749-767, November 2019.
  •  32
    Cause without Default
    In Helen Beebee, Christopher Hitchcock & Huw Price (eds.), Making a Difference, Oxford University Press. pp. 175-214. 2017.
  •  25
    A companion to David Lewis (edited book)
    Wiley-Blackwell. 2015.
    In _A Companion to David Lewis_, Barry Loewer and Jonathan Schaffer bring together top philosophers to explain, discuss, and critically extend Lewis's seminal work in original ways. Students and scholars will discover the underlying themes and complex interconnections woven through the diverse range of his work in metaphysics, philosophy of language, logic, epistemology, philosophy of science, philosophy of mind, ethics, and aesthetics. The first and only comprehensive study of the work of David…Read more
  •  109
    Confessions of a schmentencite: towards an explicit semantics
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 64 (5-6): 593-623. 2021.
    ABSTRACT Natural language semantics is heir to two formalisms. There is the extensional machinery of explicit variables traditionally used to model reference to individuals, and the intensional machinery of implicit index parameters traditionally used to model reference to worlds and times. I propose instead a simple and unified extensional formalism – explicit semantics – on which all sentences include explicit individual, world and time variables. No implicit index parameters are needed.
  •  141
    Laws for Metaphysical Explanation
    Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 82 1-22. 2017.
    I argue that, just like causal explanation requires laws of nature, so metaphysical explanation requires laws of metaphysics. I offer a minimal rendition of the argument for laws of metaphysics, assuming nothing about grounding or essences, and little about explanation. And I offer a positive and minimal functional conception of the laws of metaphysics, coupled with an argument that some laws of metaphysics are fundamental.
  •  160
    Laws for Metaphysical Explanation
    Philosophical Issues 27 (1): 302-321. 2017.
  •  305
    The Ground Between the Gaps
    Philosophers' Imprint 17. 2017.
    According to a line of thought tracing from Descartes, Leibniz, and Locke through to Kripke, Levine, and Chalmers, there is a special explanatory gap arising between the physical and the phenomenal. I argue that the physical-phenomenal gap is not special but rather that such gaps are pervasive, lurking in the transition from the physical to the chemical and in every concrete transition from more to less fundamental. Correlatively, I argue that such gaps are unproblematic, so long as they are bri…Read more
  •  163
    Cause and Chance: Causation in an Indeterministic World (review)
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 58 (4): 869-874. 2007.
    This is an excellent anthology. The contributors are first-rate, the contributions are state-of-the-art, and the content is highly unified. The introduction further connects the essays and succinctly articulates the main themes. What results will be of interest to anyone interested in the contemporary discussion of causation.
  • Causation and the Probabilities of Processes
    Dissertation, Rutgers the State University of New Jersey - New Brunswick. 1999.
    You drop the glass. It shatters. Here there are two distinct events, related by causation. What is this relation? ;I argue that the causal relation is best understood as the relation of being a probability-raiser of a process. I take the causal relata to be property instances at spatiotemporal regions, analyze the notion of a process in terms of sequences of events related by nomic subsumption , and understand probability-raising as counterfactual chance dependence in the style of David Lewis. T…Read more
  •  523
    Two conceptions of sparse properties
    Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 85 (1). 2004.
    Are the sparse properties drawn from all the levels of nature, or only the fundamental level? I discuss the notion of sparse property found in Armstrong and Lewis, show that there are tensions in the roles they have assigned the sparse properties, and argue that the sparse properties should be drawn from all the levels of nature.
  •  83
    Le trou noir de la causalité
    Philosophie 89 (2): 40. 2006.
  •  305
    Contrastive causation in the law
    Legal Theory 16 (4): 259-297. 2010.
    What conception of causation is at work in the law? I argue that the law implicitly relies on a contrastive conception. In a liability case where the defendant's breach of duty must be shown to have caused the plaintiff's damages, it is not enough to consider what would have happened if the cause had not occurredthe law requires us to look to a specific replacement for the effect, which in this case is the hypothetical outcome in which the plaintiff came off better. In place of I suggest the mor…Read more
  •  179
    Perceptual knowledge derailed
    Philosophical Studies 112 (1): 31-45. 2003.
    The tracking theory treats knowledge as counterfactual covariation of belief and truth through a sphere of possibilities. I argue that the tracking theory cannot respect perceptual knowledge, because perceptual belief covaries with truth through a discontinuous scatter of possibilities.
  •  451
    Closure, Contrast, and Answer
    Philosophical Studies 133 (2): 233-255. 2007.
    How should the contrastivist formulate closure? That is, given that knowledge is a ternary contrastive state Kspq (s knows that p rather than q), how does this state extend under entailment? In what follows, I will identify adequacy conditions for closure, criticize the extant invariantist and contextualist closure schemas, and provide a contrastive schema based on the idea of extending answers. I will conclude that only the contrastivist can adequately formulate closure.
  •  430
    Of ghostly and mechanical events (review)
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 68 (1). 2004.
    Paul Pietroski, in Causing Actions (2000), aims to articulate a dualistic framework that 'makes room for persons'. What is especially intriguing about Pietroski's framework is that it denies both of the above assumptions: (i) it is resolutely non-naturalistic, and (ii) it is a dualism of events, said to steer between substance and property dualisms. If Pietroski is right then both naturalism and the three-part taxonomy are worse than mistaken: they are in..
  •  197
    The problem of free mass: Must properties cluster?
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66 (1). 2003.
    Properties come in clusters. It seems impossible, for instance, that a mass could float free, unattached to any other property. David Armstrong takes this as a reductio of the bundle theory and an argument for substrata, while Peter Simons and Arda Denkel reply by supplementing the bundle theory with accounts of property interdependencies. I argue against both views. Virtually all plausible ontologies turn out to be committed to the existence of free masses.
  •  484
    Knowing the Answer
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 75 (2): 383-403. 2007.
    How should one understand knowledge-wh ascriptions? That is, how should one understand claims such as ‘‘I know where the car is parked,’’ which feature an interrogative complement? The received view is that knowledge-wh reduces to knowledge that p, where p happens to be the answer to the question Q denoted by the wh-clause. I will argue that knowledge-wh includes the question—to know-wh is to know that p, as the answer to Q. I will then argue that knowledge-that includes a contextually implicit …Read more
  •  261
    The individuation of tropes
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 79 (2). 2001.
    A tropel is a particular property: the redness of a rose, the roundness of the moon. It is generally supposed that tropes are individuated by primitive quantity: this redness, that roundness. I argme that the trope theorist is far better served by individuating tropes by spatiotemporal relation: here redness, there roundness. In short, tropes are not this-suches but here-suches
  •  549
    From nihilism to monism
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (2). 2007.
    Mereological nihilism is the view that all concrete objects are simple. Existence monism is the view that the only concrete object is one big simple: the world. I will argue that nihilism culminates in monism. The nihilist demands the simplest sufficient ontology, and the monist delivers it
  •  596
    Spacetime the one substance
    Philosophical Studies 145 (1). 2009.
    What is the relation between material objects and spacetime regions? Supposing that spacetime regions are one sort of substance, there remains the question of whether or not material objects are a second sort of substance. This is the question of dualistic versus monistic substantivalism. I will defend the monistic view. In particular, I will maintain that material objects should be identified with spacetime regions. There is the spacetime manifold, and the fundamental properties are pinned dire…Read more
  •  688
    Contrastive knowledge
    In Tamar Szabo Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Oxford Studies in Epistemology 1, Oxford University Press. pp. 235. 2005.
    Does G. E. Moore know that he has hands? Yes, says the dogmatist: Moore’s hands are right before his eyes. No, says the skeptic: for all Moore knows he could be a brain-in-a-vat. Yes and no, says the contrastivist: yes, Moore knows that he has hands rather than stumps; but no, Moore does not know that he has hands rather than vat-images of hands. The dogmatist and the skeptic suppose that knowledge is a binary, categorical relation: s knows that p. The contrastivist says that knowledge is a tern…Read more
  •  109
    Review of Dowe's Physical Causation (review)
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 52 (4): 809-813. 2001.
    Phil Dowe, in Physical Causation, addresses such questions as 'What are causal processes and interactions?', 'What is the connection between causes and effects?', and 'What distinguishes a cause from its effect?' Dowe not only provides explicit and original answers to these questions, but, en route, provides important critiques of alternative answers as well as sophisticated discussions of negative causation, the fork asymmetry, and quantum mechanics.
  •  31
    Andreas Hüttemann What's Wrong With Microphysicalism?: Review
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59 (2): 253-257. 2008.