•  288
    Prior analytics, book I (review)
    Journal of the History of Philosophy 48 (2). 2010.
    The interpretation of Aristotle's syllogistic is a bellwether of the logical concerns of the interpreter's time. Aristotle's syllogistic is, in part, a two-tiered classification of syllogisms. Aristotle takes just a few syllogistic forms to be perfect or obviously acceptable and establishes the acceptability of the other imperfect syllogistic forms through a process of perfection—most often, by conversion of the premises of the imperfect syllogism into the premise-set of a perfect syllogism.The …Read more
  •  248
    Aristotle on Predication
    European Journal of Philosophy 23 (3): 793-813. 2015.
    A predicate logic typically has a heterogeneous semantic theory. Subjects and predicates have distinct semantic roles: subjects refer; predicates characterize. A sentence expresses a truth if the object to which the subject refers is correctly characterized by the predicate. Traditional term logic, by contrast, has a homogeneous theory: both subjects and predicates refer; and a sentence is true if the subject and predicate name one and the same thing. In this paper, I will examine evidence for a…Read more
  •  211
    Presentism, Truthmakers and Distributional Properties
    Synthese 191 (14): 3427-46. 2014.
    Presentists face a challenge from truthmaker theory: if you hold both that the only existing objects are presently existing and that truth supervenes on being, then you will be hard pressed to identify some existent on which a given true but traceless claim about the past supervenes. One reconciliation strategy, advocated by Cameron (2011), is to appeal to distributional properties so to serve as presently existing truthmakers for past truths. I argue that a presentist ought to deny that dist…Read more
  •  200
    Attention, Perception, and Thought in Aristotle
    Dialogue 49 (2): 199-222. 2010.
    In the first part of the paper, I’ll rehearse an argument that perceiving that we see and hear isn’t a special case of perception in Aristotle but is rather a necessary condition for any perception whatsoever: the turning of one’s attention to the affection of the sense organs. In the second part of the paper, I’ll consider the thesis that the activity of the active intellect is analogous to perceiving that we see and hear
  •  190
    Aristotle on Ontological Dependence
    Phronesis 53 (1). 2008.
    Aristotle holds that individual substances are ontologically independent from nonsubstances and universal substances but that non-substances and universal substances are ontologically dependent on substances. There is then an asymmetry between individual substances and other kinds of beings with respect to ontological dependence. Under what could plausibly be called the standard interpretation, the ontological independence ascribed to individual substances and denied of non-substances and univer…Read more
  •  166
    Aristotle on Mathematical Truth
    British Journal for the History of Philosophy 20 (6): 1057-1076. 2012.
    Both literalism, the view that mathematical objects simply exist in the empirical world, and fictionalism, the view that mathematical objects do not exist but are rather harmless fictions, have been both ascribed to Aristotle. The ascription of literalism to Aristotle, however, commits Aristotle to the unattractive view that mathematics studies but a small fragment of the physical world; and there is evidence that Aristotle would deny the literalist position that mathematical objects are perceiv…Read more
  •  164
    Substance and Independence in Aristotle
    In B. Schnieder, A. Steinberg & M. Hoeltje (eds.), Varieties of Dependence: Ontological Dependence, Supervenience, and Response-Dependence, Basic Philosophical Concepts Series, Philosophia Verlag. pp. 36-67. 2013.
    Individual substances are the ground of Aristotle’s ontology. Taking a liberal approach to existence, Aristotle accepts among existents entities in such categories other than substance as quality, quantity and relation; and, within each category, individuals and universals. As I will argue, individual substances are ontologically independent from all these other entities, while all other entities are ontologically dependent on individual substances. The association of substance with independence…Read more
  •  125
    Aristotle on Nonsubstantial Individuals
    Ancient Philosophy 29 (2): 289-310. 2009.
    As a first stab, call a property recurrent if it can be possessed by more than one object, and nonrecurrent if it can be possessed by at most one object. The question whether Aristotle holds that there are nonrecurrent properties has spawned a lively and ongoing debate among commentators over the last forty-five years. One source of textual evidence in the Categories, drawn on in this debate, is Aristotle’s claim that certain properties are inseparable from what they are in. Here the point of co…Read more
  •  122
    Meta-conceivability
    Essays in Philosophy 13 (1): 12. 2012.
    In addition to conceiving of such imaginary scenarios as those involving philosophical zombies, we may conceive of such things being conceived. Call these higher order conceptions ‘meta-conceptions’. Sorensen (2006) holds that one can entertain a meta-conception without thereby conceiving of the embedded lower-order conception. So it seems that I can meta-conceive possibilities which I cannot conceive. If this is correct, then meta-conceptions provide a counter-example to the claim that possibil…Read more
  •  63
    Essays on Being (Review) (review)
    Journal of Hellenic Studies 130 285-86. 2010.
    This volume collects eight of Kahn’s articles from 1966 to 2004, with a 15-page introduction and a previously unpublished 12-page postscript to one article, concerning a variety of issues on Parmenides unrelated to the titular topic. Kahn’s work on the interpretation of being in Greek philosophy and literature is seminal, and it is most welcome to have these articles in one volume. It is partly because Kahn’s contribution is important, partly because the issue is thorny and partly because his th…Read more
  •  52
    Ontological Dependence and Grounding in Aristotle
    Oxford Handbooks Online in Philosophy. 2016.
    The relation of ontological dependence or grounding, expressed by the terminology of separation and priority in substance, plays a central role in Aristotle’s Categories, Metaphysics, De Anima and elsewhere. The article discusses three current interpretations of this terminology. These are drawn along the lines of, respectively, modal-existential ontological dependence, essential ontological dependence, and grounding or metaphysical explanation. I provide an opinionated introduction to the topic…Read more
  •  48
    I discuss Peramatzis's argument that the form of a natural substance is essentially enmattered and so contains a material component.
  •  27
    Empty Negations and Existential Import in Aristotle
    Apeiron 51 (2): 201-219. 2018.
    Aristotle draws what are, by our lights, two unusual relationships between predication and existence. First, true universal affirmations carry existential import. If ‘All humans are mortal’ is true, for example, then at least one human exists. And secondly, although affirmations with empty terms in subject position are all false, empty negations are all true: if ‘Socrates’ lacks a referent, then both ‘Socrates is well’ and ‘Socrates is ill’ are false but both ‘Socrates is not well’ and ‘Socrates…Read more
  •  10
    This
    Ancient Philosophy Today 1 (1): 38-63. 2019.
    The expression tode ti, commonly translated as ‘a this’, plays a key role in Aristotle’s metaphysics. Drawing lightly on theories of demonstratives in contemporary linguistics, I discuss the expres...
  •  4
    Generality and Logical Constancy
    Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 71 (4): 753-768. 2015.
    Resumo As verdades lógicas são um tema paradigmaticamente tópico-neutral. O autor defende que a tópico-neutralidade é ambígua entre duas concepções. Sob uma concepção, a verdade é um tópico-neutral se ela for caracterizada pela sua abstracção de todo o conteúdo semântico; de acordo com uma outra concepção, a verdade é um tópico-neutral se for abstraída das identidades específicas das coisas. O autor irá discutir o significado desta distinção no critério de Peacocke para a constância lógica pensa…Read more