•  228
    Fictionality and Imagination, Revisited
    Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 75 (1): 15-21. 2017.
    I present and discuss a counterexample to Kendall Walton's necessary condition for fictionality that arises from considering serial fictions. I argue that although Walton has not in fact provided a necessary condition for fictionality, a more complex version of Walton's condition is immune from the counterexample.
  •  391
    The Invalidity of the Argument from Illusion
    American Philosophical Quarterly (4): 357-364. 2018.
    The argument from illusion attempts to establish the bold claim that we are never perceptually aware of ordinary material objects. The argument has rightly received a great deal critical of scrutiny. But here we develop a criticism that, to our knowledge, has not hitherto been explored. We consider the canonical form of the argument as it is captured in contemporary expositions. There are two stages to our criticism. First, we show that the argument is invalid. Second, we identify premises that …Read more
  •  939
    The Possibility of Unicorns and Modal Logic
    Analytic Philosophy 55 (2): 295-305. 2014.
    Michael Dummett argues, against Saul Kripke, that there could have been unicorns. He then claims that this possibility shows that the logic of metaphysical modality is not S5, and, in particular, that the B axiom is false. Dummett’s argument against B, however, is invalid. I show that although there are number of ways to repair Dummett’s argument against B, each requires a controversial metaphysical or semantic commitment, and that, regardless of this, the case against B is undermotivated. Dumme…Read more
  •  423
    Are a material object, such as a statue, and its constituting matter, the clay, parts of one another? One wouldn't have thought so, and yet a number of philosophers have argued that they are. I review the arguments for this surprising claim showing how they all fail. I then consider two arguments against the view concluding that there are both pre-theoretical and theoretical considerations for denying that the statue and the clay are mutual parts.
  •  557
    Possible World Semantics and True-True Counterfactuals
    Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 97 (3): 322-346. 2016.
    The standard semantics for counterfactuals ensures that any counterfactual with a true antecedent and true consequent is itself true. There have been many recent attempts to amend the standard semantics to avoid this result. I show that these proposals invalidate a number of further principles of the standard logic of counterfactuals. The case against the automatic truth of counterfactuals with true components does not extend to these further principles, however, so it is not clear that rejectin…Read more
  •  69
    Tim Crane's The Objects of Thought is, I think, a much needed corrective to standard ways that analytic philosophers think about nonexistence. It starts from our common sense thought and talk, and tries to carve out a position that can defend this starting point in the face of criticism. It is well-written, a pleasure to read, and largely clear. I would recommend it to anyone interested in the problems of nonexistence. In §1 I sketch Crane's central ideas about the nonexistent, before turning to…Read more
  •  195
    Braun Defended
    The Reasoner 5 (8): 124-125. 2011.
    I defend Braun's gappy proposition view from two objections.
  •  766
    Repeatable Artworks as Created Types
    British Journal of Aesthetics 53 (4): 461-477. 2013.
    I sketch here an intuitive picture of repeatable artworks as created types, which are individuated in part by historical paths (re)production. Although attractive, this view has been rejected by a number of authors on the basis of general claims about abstract objects. On consideration, however, these general claims are overgeneralizations, which whilst true of some abstracta, are not true of all abstract objects, and in particular, are not true of created types. The intuitive picture of repeata…Read more
  •  428
    An Argument for Conjunction Conditionalization
    Review of Symbolic Logic 6 (4): 573-588. 2013.
    Are counterfactuals with true antecedents and consequents automatically true? That is, is Conjunction Conditionalization: if (X & Y), then (X > Y) valid? Stalnaker and Lewis think so, but many others disagree. We note here that the extant arguments for Conjunction Conditionalization are unpersuasive, before presenting a family of more compelling arguments. These arguments rely on some standard theorems of the logic of counterfactuals as well as a plausible and popular semantic claim about certai…Read more
  •  592
    Morgenbesser's Coin and Counterfactuals with True Components
    Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 109 (1pt3): 365-379. 2009.
    Is A & C sufficient for the truth of ‘if A were the case, C would be the case’? Jonathan Bennett thinks not, although the counterexample he gives is inconsistent with his own account of counterfactuals. In any case, I argue that anyone who accepts the case of Morgenbesser's coin, as Bennett does, should reject Bennett’s counterexample. Moreover, I show that the principle underlying his counterexample is unmotivated and indeed false. More generally, I argue that Morgenbesser’s coin commits us to …Read more
  •  352
    Conditionals, Modals, and Hypothetical Syllogism
    Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 3 (1): 90-97. 2014.
    Moti Mizrahi (2013) presents some novel counterexamples to Hypothetical Syllogism (HS) for indicative conditionals. I show that they are not compelling as they neglect the complicated ways in which conditionals and modals interact. I then briefly outline why HS should nevertheless be rejected
  •  250
    Reply to Ahmed
    Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 111 (1pt1): 123-133. 2011.
    I reply to Ahmed’s rejection (2011) of my argument (Walters 2009) that all counterfactuals with true antecedents and consequents are themselves true.
  •  573
    Against Hypothetical Syllogism
    Journal of Philosophical Logic 43 (5): 979-997. 2014.
    The debate over Hypothetical Syllogism is locked in stalemate. Although putative natural language counterexamples to Hypothetical Syllogism abound, many philosophers defend Hypothetical Syllogism, arguing that the alleged counterexamples involve an illicit shift in context. The proper lesson to draw from the putative counterexamples, they argue, is that natural language conditionals are context-sensitive conditionals which obey Hypothetical Syllogism. In order to make progress on the issue, I co…Read more
  •  164
    Serial Fiction, the End?
    British Journal of Aesthetics 55 (3): 323-341. 2015.
    Andrew McGonigal presents some interesting data concerning truth in serial fictions.1 Such data has been taken by McGonigal, Cameron and Caplan to motivate some form of contextualism or relativism. I argue, however, that many of these approaches are problematic, and that all are under-motivated as the data can be explained in a standard invariantist semantic framework given some independently plausible principles