•  17
    Conceptions of Truth
    Philosophical Review 114 (1): 136-139. 2005.
  •  11
    A Subject with No Object: Strategies for Nominalistic Interpretation of Mathematics
    Philosophical and Phenomenological Research 62 (3): 723-727. 2001.
  •  45
    Making Things Up
    Philosophical Review 128 (2): 237-240. 2019.
  •  1
    A Subject with No Object: Strategies for Nominalistic Interpretation of Mathematics
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 62 (3): 723-726. 2001.
    Nominalists, who believe that everything there is is concrete and nothing is abstract, seem to have a problem with mathematics. Mathematics says that there are lots of prime numbers, and prime numbers don’t seem to be concrete. What should a nominalist do with mathematics? In the last few decades several programs in the philosophy of mathematics have been formulated which are, more or less explicitly, accounts of what a nominalist can say about mathematics. These programs, and the criticism of t…Read more
  •  118
    Idealism and the Harmony of Thought and Reality
    Mind 128 (511): 699-734. 2019.
    Although idealism was widely defended in the history of philosophy, it is nowadays almost universally considered a non-starter. This holds in particular for a strong form of idealism, which asserts that not just minds or the mental in general, but our human minds in particular are metaphysically central to reality. Such a view seems to be excessively anthropocentric and contrary to what we by now know about our place in the universe. Nonetheless, there is reason to think that such a strong form …Read more
  •  49
    Rayo’s The Construction of Logical Space
    Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 57 (4): 442-454. 2014.
    I wonder which one in a series of characters Agustín Rayo really is, with an emphasis on objective correctness and semantics.
  •  469
    How to endure
    with J. David Velleman
    Philosophical Quarterly 61 (242). 2011.
    The terms `endurance' and `perdurance' are commonly thought to denote distinct ways for an object to persist, but it is surprisingly hard to say what these are. The common approach, defining them in terms of temporal parts, is mistaken, because it does not lead to two coherent philosophical alternatives: endurance so understood becomes conceptually incoherent, while perdurance becomes not just true but a conceptual truth. Instead, we propose a different way to articulate the distinction, in term…Read more
  • Are There Ineffable Aspects of Reality?
    Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 10. 2017.
  •  28
    Replies to Eklund and Uzquiano
    Analysis 78 (2): 315-334. 2018.
    My thanks to Matti Eklund and Gabriel Uzquiano for their thoughtful and challenging critical essays. In these replies I hope to respond to what I took to be their main points. The focus of their essays is different for the most part, but there is overlap in their discussion of the ineffable. I will thus largely reply to their essays separately, with the exception of the discussion of the ineffable, where I will reply to their points jointly. Let’s start, alphabetically, with Eklund.
  •  42
    Ontology and the Ambitions of Metaphysics
    Analysis 78 (2): 289-291. 2018.
    Ontology and the Ambitions of Metaphysics By HofweberThomasOxford University Press, 2016. xvi + 366 pp. £50.00
  •  48
    Amie L. Thomasson: Ontology Made Easy
    Journal of Philosophy 114 (9): 498-502. 2017.
  •  31
    Dickie's Epistemic Theory of Reference
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 95 (3): 725-730. 2017.
  •  11
    Replies to Bennett, Rayo, and Sattig
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 94 (2): 488-504. 2017.
  •  3
    Number Determiners, Numbers, and Arithmetic
    Philosophical Review 114 (2): 179-225. 2005.
  •  72
    The relevant alternatives approach in epistemology1 arose some years ago partly out of the hope to be able to reconcile our ordinary claims of knowledge with our inability to answer the skeptic. It was supposed to give rise to an account of knowledge according to which our ordinary claims of knowledge are true, even though the claims about our lack of knowledge that the skeptics make in one of their more persuasive moments are also true. To know, according to such an account, is to have evidence…Read more
  •  139
    Schiffer’s New Theory of Propositions (review)
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (1). 2006.
    Every fifteen years or so Stephen Schiffer writes a state of the art book on the philosophy of language, with special emphasis on belief ascriptions, meaning, and propositions. The latest is his terrific new book The Things we Mean. It is again full of ideas, insights, arguments, expositions, and theories. For us, however, who believe that that-clauses are first and foremost clauses, not referring expressions, and that they thus do not refer to propositions or anything else, The Things we Mean b…Read more
  •  104
    Conceptual idealism without ontological idealism: why idealism is true after all
    In Tyron Goldschmidt & Kenneth Pearce (eds.), Idealism: new essays in metaphysics, Oxford University Press. forthcoming.
  •  27
    Précis of Ontology and the Ambitions of Metaphysics
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 94 (2): 463-465. 2017.
  •  168
    Logic and ontology
    Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2008.
    A number of important philosophical problems are problems in the overlap of logic and ontology. Both logic and ontology are diverse fields within philosophy, and partly because of this there is not one single philosophical problem about the relation between logic and ontology. In this survey article we will first discuss what different philosophical projects are carried out under the headings of "logic" and "ontology" and then we will look at several areas where logic and ontology overlap.
  •  84
    Infinitesimal Chances
    Philosophers' Imprint 14. 2014.
    It is natural to think that questions in the metaphysics of chance are independent of the mathematical representation of chance in probability theory. After all, chance is a feature of events that comes in degrees and the mathematical representation of chance concerns these degrees but leaves the nature of chance open. The mathematical representation of chance could thus, un-controversially, be taken to be what it is commonly taken to be: a probability measure satisfying Kolmogorov’s axioms. The…Read more
  •  9
    Empty Names, Fiction and the Puzzles of Non-Existence (edited book)
    with A. Everett
    CSLI Publications. 2000.
    Philosophers and theorists have long been puzzled by humans' ability to talk about things that do not exist, or to talk about things that they think exist but, in fact, do not. _Empty Names, Fiction, and the Puzzles of Non-Existence_ is a collection of 13 new works concerning the semantic and metaphysical issues arising from empty names, non-existence, and the nature of fiction. The contributors include some of the most important researchers working in these fields. Some of the papers develop an…Read more
  • Un enigma per l'ontologia
    Rivista di Estetica 46 (32): 41-69. 2006.
  •  190
    Ambitious, yet modest, metaphysics
    In David John Chalmers, David Manley & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology, Oxford University Press. pp. 260--289. 2009.
    There is a long history of worrying about whether or not metaphysics is a legitimate philosophical discipline. Traditionally such worries center around issues of meaning and epistemological concerns. Do the metaphysical questions have any meaning? Can metaphysical methodology lead to knowledge? But these questions are, in my opinion, not as serious as they have sometimes (historically) been taken to be. What is much more concerning is another set of worries about metaphysics, which I take to the…Read more
  • Review of Jody Azzouni's Deflating Existential Consquence (review)
    Philosophical Review 116 (3): 465-467. 2007.
  •  21
    Inferential Role and the Ideal of Deductive Logic
    The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 5. 2009.
    Although there is a prima facie strong case for a close connection between the meaning and inferential role of certain expressions, this connection seems seriously threatened by the semantic and logical paradoxes which rely on these inferential roles. Some philosophers have drawn radical conclusions from the paradoxes for the theory of meaning in general, and for which sentences in our language are true. I criticize these overreactions, and instead propose to distinguish two conceptions of infer…Read more
  •  88
    How metaphysics is special: comments on Bennett
    Philosophical Studies 173 (1): 39-48. 2016.
    Karen Bennett argues that there is no distinct problem with metaphysics, and she proposes a disjunctive conception of the subject matter of metaphysics. This paper critically examines her arguments and positive view. I defend that metaphysics prima facie is distinctly problematic, and I raise some questions about Bennett’s disjunctive conception of the subject matter of metaphysics and the a priori aspect of its methodology
  •  27
    Review of "Conceptions of Truth" by Wolfgang Künne (review)
    Philosophical Review 114 (1): 136-138. 2005.
    This review mostly discusses Künne's positive proposal about truth, his Modest Account. In particular, I discuss propositional quantification, which is required for Künne's formulation of the Modest Account, and under what conditions this kind of quantification is acceptable. I argue that it requires a view of propositions which he rejects,
  •  320
    The Meta-Problem of Change
    Noûs 43 (2). 2009.
    The problem of change plays a central role in the metaphysics of time and material objects, and whoever does best in solving this problem has a leg up when it comes to choosing a metaphysics of time and material objects. But whether this central role of the problem of change in metaphysics is legitimate is not at all clear. This is so in part since it is not clear what the problem of change is, and why it is a problem in metaphysics. We will investigate what metaphysical problem the problem of c…Read more
  •  263
    A puzzle about ontology
    Noûs 39 (2). 2005.
    Ontology is the philosophical discipline that tries to find out what there is: what entities make up reality, what is the stuff the world is made from? Thus, ontology is part of metaphysics, and in fact it seems to be about half of all of metaphysics. It tries to establish what (kinds of) things there are, the other half tries to find out what the (general) properties of these things are and what (general) relations they have to each other. Settling questions in ontology would bring with it majo…Read more