•  48
    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
  • Intrinsicness
    In Robert M. Francescotti (ed.), Companion to Intrinsic Properties, De Gruyter. pp. 41-68. 2014.
  •  22
  •  89
    'What am I?' Descartes and the mind-body problem - reply (review)
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 70 (3): 717-734. 2005.
    In his Meditations, René Descartes asks, "what am I?" His initial answer is "a man." But he soon discards it: "But what is a man? Shall I say 'a rational animal'? No: for then I should inquire what an animal is, what rationality is, and in this way one question would lead down the slope to harder ones." Instead of understanding what a man is, Descartes shifts to two new questions: "What is Mind?" and "What is Body?" These questions develop into Descartes's main philosophical preoccupation: the M…Read more
  •  87
    If-Thenism
    Australasian Philosophical Review 1 (2): 115-132. 2017.
    ABSTRACTAn undemanding claim ϕ sometimes implies, or seems to, a more demanding one ψ. Some have posited, to explain this, a confusion between ϕ and ϕ*, an analogue of ϕ that does not imply ψ. If-thenists take ϕ* to be If ψ then ϕ. Incrementalism is the form of if-thenism that construes If ψ then ϕ as the surplus content of ϕ over ψ. The paper argues that it is the only form of if-thenism that stands a chance of being correct.
  •  23
    Replies to Comments on If-Thenism
    Australasian Philosophical Review 1 (2): 212-227. 2017.
  •  49
    Kment on counterfactuals
    Analysis 77 (1): 148-155. 2017.
    Review of Kment, "*Modality and Explanatory Reasoning*, with an emphasis on counterfactuals.
  •  164
    Reply to Fine on Aboutness
    Philosophical Studies 175 (6): 1495-1512. 2018.
    A reply to Fine’s critique of Aboutness. Fine contrasts two notions of truthmaker, and more generally two notions of “state.” One is algebraic; states are sui generis entities grasped primarily through the conditions they satisfy. The other uses set theory; states are sets of worlds, or, perhaps, collections of such sets. I try to defend the second notion and question some seeming advantages of the first.
  •  401
    Concepts and Consciousness
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 59 (2): 455-463. 1999.
    I. The Conscious Mind is a hugely likable book. Perceptive, candid, and instructive page by page, the work as a whole sets out a large and uplifting vision with cheeringly un-Dover-Beach-ish implications for “our place in the universe.” A book that you can’t helping wanting to believe as much as you can’t help wanting to believe this one doesn’t come along every day. It is with real regret that I proceed to the story of why belief would not come.
  •  2
    Things
    Dissertation, University of California, Berkeley. 1986.
    Essentialists hold that certain of a thing's properties are specially fundamental, antiessentialists that all of a thing's properties are on a par. As a result, essentialists can explain how, e.g., a statue and its clay are different, but not how they are the same, whereas antiessentialists can explain how they're the same but not how they're different. Ordinarily, though, we reckon them in one sense the same and in another different. ;To accomodate the ordinary view, essentialism and antiessent…Read more
  •  240
    Relevance Without Minimality
    In Andy Egan & Dirk Kindermann (eds.), Unstructured Content, Oxford University Press. forthcoming.
  •  136
    Grounding, dependence, and paradox
    Journal of Philosophical Logic 11 (1). 1982.
  •  817
    Textbook kripkeanism and the open texture of concepts
    Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 81 (1). 2000.
    Kripke, argued like this: it seems possible that E; the appearance can't be explained away as really pertaining to a "presentation" of E; so, pending a different explanation, it is possible that E. Textbook Kripkeans see in the contrast between E and its presentation intimations of a quite general distinction between two sorts of meaning. E's secondary or a posteriori meaning is the set of all worlds w which E, as employed here, truly describes. Its primary or a priori meaning is the set of all …Read more
  •  133
    Prime causation (review)
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 70 (2). 2005.
    No one doubts that mental states can be wide. Why should this seem to prevent them from causing behavior? Tim points to an "internalist line of thought"
  •  130
    Explanation, Extrapolation, and Existence
    Mind 121 (484): 1007-1029. 2012.
    Mark Colyvan (2010) raises two problems for ‘easy road’ nominalism about mathematical objects. The first is that a theory’s mathematical commitments may run too deep to permit the extraction of nominalistic content. Taking the math out is, or could be, like taking the hobbits out of Lord of the Rings. I agree with the ‘could be’, but not (or not yet) the ‘is’. A notion of logical subtraction is developed that supports the possibility, questioned by Colyvan, of bracketing a theory’s mathematical …Read more
  •  77
    New Grounds for Naive Truth Theory
    In J. C. Beall (ed.), Liars and Heaps: New Essays on Paradox, Clarendon Press. pp. 312-330. 2004.
  •  162
    De facto dependence
    Journal of Philosophy 99 (3): 130-148. 2002.
  •  23
    1. I Wasn’t Talking about That
    In Aboutness, Princeton University Press. pp. 7-22. 2014.
  •  59
  •  84
    Circularity and Paradox
    In Thomas Bolander, Vincent F. Hendricks & Stig Andur Pedersen (eds.), Self-Reference, Csli Publications. pp. 139--157. 2006.
  •  165
    Seven habits of highly effective thinkers
    In Bernard Elevitch (ed.), The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy, Philosophy Documentation Center. pp. 35-45. 2000.
    By effective thinkers I mean not people who think effectively, but people who understand “how it’s done,” i.e., people not paralyzed by the philosophical problem of epiphenomenalism. I argue that mental causes are not preempted by either neural or narrow content states, and that extrinsically individuated mental states are not out of proportion with their putative effects. I give three examples/models of how an extrinsic cause might be more proportional to an effect than the competition
  •  65
    A paradox of existence
    In T. Hofweber & A. Everett (eds.), Empty Names, Fiction, and the Puzzles of Non-Existence, Csli Publications. pp. 275--312. 2000.
    ontology metaontology wright platonism fregean existence epistemology
  •  73
    Red, Bitter, Best (review)
    Philosophical Books 41 (1). 2002.
    Book reviewed in this article: Jackson, F., From Metaphysics to Ethics
  •  26
    Appendix
    In Aboutness, Princeton University Press. pp. 207-208. 2014.
    Nomenclature for *Aboutness*
  •  18
    10. Pretense and Presupposition
    In Aboutness, Princeton University Press. pp. 165-177. 2014.