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Philosophical Quarterly: Vol. 57, No. 226, January 2007.

Number Words and Ontological Commitment, BERIT BROGAARD

With the aid of some results from current linguistic theory, I examine a recent anti-Fregean line with respect to hybrid talk of numbers and ordinary things, such as "The number of moons of Jupiter is four." I conclude that the anti-Fregean line with respect to these sentences is indefensible.

About Stage Universalism, YURI BALASHOV

Most four-dimensionalists, including both world and stage theorists, endorse mereological universalism, the thesis that any class of objects has a fusion. But the marriage of four-dimensionalism and universalism is unfortunate and unprofitable: it creates a recalcitrant problem for stage theory's account of lingering properties, such as writing "War and Peace" or travelling across the tennis court, which take time to be instantiated. This makes it necessary to impose a natural restriction on diachronic composition.

The Importance of 'Being Earnest', BENJAMIN SCHINIEDER

Reference to properties is normally achieved by the use of nominalizations of predicative expressions. I examine the relation between different kinds of these: while, traditionally, the terms "wisdom" and "the property of being wise" were thought to be co-referential, in certain contexts they do not seem to be interchangeable salva veritate. Observing this, Friederike Moltmann claims that abstract nouns such as "wisdom" do not refer to properties. I argue that her theory is flawed and that the existence of the problematic contexts should be explained in non-referential terms.

Moral Responsibility and Omissions, JEREMY BYRD

Frankfurt-type examples seem to show that agents can be morally responsible for their actions and omissions even if they could not have done otherwise. Fischer and Ravizza's influential account of moral responsibility is largely based on such examples. I examine a problem with their account of responsibility in cases where we fall to act. The solution to this problem has a surprising and far-reaching implication concerning the construction of successful Frankfurt-type examples. I argue that the role of the counterfactual intervener in such examples can only be filled by a rational agent.

A Gradable Approach to Dispositions, DAVID MANLEY; RYAN WASSERMAN

Previous theories of the relationship between dispositions and conditionals are unable to account for the fact that dispositions come in degrees. We propose a fix for this problem which has the added benefit of avoiding the familiar problems of finks and masks.

The Impertinence of Frankfurt-Style Argument, DANIEL SPEAK

Discussions of the principle of alternative possibilities have largely ignored the limits of what Frankfurt-style counter-examples can show. Rather than challenging the coherence of the cases, I argue that even if they are taken to demonstrate the falsity of the principle, they cannot advance the compatibilist cause. For a forceful incompatibilist argument can be constructed from the Frankfurtian premise that agents in Frankfurtian circumstances would have done what they did even if they could have done something else. This "counterfactual stability" meets the same fate under determinism as does the ability to do otherwise. Thus the cases are irrelevant to the compatibility debate.

Triangulating with Davidson, CLAUDINE VERHEGGEN

According to Davidson, "triangulation" is necessary both to fix the meanings of one's thoughts and utterances and to have the concept of objectivity, both of which are necessary for thinking and talking at all. Against these claims, it has been objected that neither meaning-determination nor possession of the concept of objectivity requires triangulation; nor does the ability to think and talk require possession of the concept of objectivity. But this overlooks the important connection between the tasks that triangulation is meant to perform. One cannot fix concepts or meanings, which one must do for there to be any concepts or meanings at all, without having the concept of objectivity.

Anti-Nominalism Reconsidered, DAVID LIGGINS

Many philosophers of mathematics are attracted by nominalism, the doctrine that there are no sets, numbers, functions or other mathematical objects. John Burgess and Gideon Rosen have put forward an intriguing argument against nominalism, based on the thought that philosophy cannot overrule internal mathematical and scientific standards of acceptability. I argue that Burgess and Rosen's argument fails because it relies on a mistaken view of what the standards of mathematics require.

Reasons, Resultance and Moral Particularism, OMAR EDWARD MOAD

According to Jonathan Dancy's moral particularism, the way in which a given moral reason functions as a reason for or against an action can vary from case to case. Dancy also asserts that reasons are resultance bases. But a reason why something ought to be done is that in virtue of which it is something that ought to be done. If the function of a reason can vary, then resultance bases cannot be reasons. Perhaps the particularist might conceive a reason not as a resultance base, but as a specific type of which a resultance base is a token. But this picture of reasons cannot be correct.
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Publication:The Review of Metaphysics
Article Type:Abstract
Date:Mar 1, 2007
Previous Article:Australasian Journal of Philosophy: Vol. 84, No. 4, December 2006.
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