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The Philosophical Quarterly: vol. 65, no. 260, July 2015.

The Significance of Unpossessed Evidence, NATHAN BALLANTYNE

By reflecting on evidence we do not have, we gain insight into the epistemic status of beliefs concerning difficult and disputed matters. The arguments offer a novel kind of skeptical challenge, because awareness of unpossessed evidence sometimes undermines rational belief.

On a Sufficient Condition for Hyperintensionality, VERA HOFFMANN-KOLSS

Let an X/Y distinction be a distinction between kinds of properties, such as the distinctions between qualitative and nonqualitative, intrinsic and extrinsic, perfectly natural and less-than-perfectly natural, or dispositional and categorical properties. An X/Y distinction is hyperintensional if and only if there are cointensional properties P and Q, such that P is an X-property, whereas Q is a Y-property. Many accounts of metaphysical distinctions among properties presuppose that such distinctions are nonhyperintensional. This paper calls this presupposition into question. It develops a sufficient condition for the hyperintensionality of X/Y distinctions and argue that this condition is satisfied by a number of standard classifications of properties. It follows that nonhyperintensional analyses of distinctions among properties are harder to defend than is often assumed.


Presentists, who believe that only present objects exist, face a problem concerning truths about the past. Presentists should (but cannot) locate truth-makers for truths about the past. What can presentists say in response? We identify two rival factions "upstanding" and "nefarious" presentists. Upstanding presentists aim to meet the challenge, positing presently existing truth-makers for truths about the past; nefarious presentists aim to shirk their responsibilities, using the language of truth-maker theory but without paying any ontological price. We argue that presentists should be nefarious presentists.

Powers Opposed and Intrinsic Finks, SIMON KITTLE

Philosophers disagree over whether dispositions can be intrinsically finked or masked. Choi suggests that there are no clear, relevant differences between cases where intrinsic finks would be absurd and those where they seem plausible, and as a result rejects them wholesale. Here, the author highlights two features of dispositional properties which, when considered together, provide a plausible explanation for when dispositions can be subject to intrinsic finks and when not.

Dispositions and Ergativity, JOHN MAIER

Attempts to give necessary and sufficient conditions for demarcating dispositional predicates (such as "is fragile") from other predicates are generally acknowledged to fail. This leaves unresolved the question of what it is about paradigm instances of dispositional predicates in virtue of which their application to an object constitutes a disposition ascription. This essay proposes that dispositional predicates are generally derived from ergative verbs, those verbs that allow for certain entailments from transitive to intransitive forms (as "Sam broke the glass" entails "The glass broke"). The connection between disposition ascriptions and ergativity is shown to have consequences for the metaphysics of dispositions.

Blind rule-following and the 'Antinomy of Pure Reason', ALEXANDER MILLER

Saul Kripke identifies the rule-following problem as finding an answer to the question: What makes it the case that a speaker means one thing rather than another by a linguistic expression? In a series of important papers in the 1980s and 1990s, Crispin Wright and Paul Boghossian argued that this problem could be neutralized via the adoption of a form of non-reductionism about content. In recent work on blind rule-following, however, both now argue that even if a nonreductionist view can be defended in such a way as to neutralize the challenge posed by Kripke's Wittgenstein, a more fundamental problem about rule-following remains unsolved. Against this, the author argues that if, courtesy of a nonreductionist conception of content, we can successfully meet the challenge posed by Kripke's Wittgenstein, there are no further problems about rule-following along the lines of those recently suggested by Boghossian and Wright.

Why (Some) Knowledge Is the Property of a Community and Possibly None of its Members, BOAZ MILLER

Mainstream analytic epistemology regards knowledge as the property of individuals, rather than groups. Drawing on insights from the reality of knowledge production and dissemination in the sciences, the author argues, from within the analytic framework, that this view is wrong. He defends the thesis of knowledge-level justification communalism, which states that at least some knowledge, typically knowledge obtained from expert testimony, is the property of a community and possibly none of its individual members, in that only the community or some members of it collectively possess knowledge-level justification for its individual members' beliefs. The author addresses several objections that individuals, qua individuals, have or are able to acquire knowledge-level justification for all the beliefs they obtain from expert testimony. He argues that the problem he identifies with individualism is invariant under any specific account of justification, internalist or externalist.

Resolute Conciliationism, JOHN PITTARD

Conciliationism is the view that disagreement with qualified disputants gives us a powerful reason for doubting our disputed views, a reason that will often be sufficient to defeat what would otherwise be strong evidential justification for our position. Conciliationism is disputed by many qualified philosophers, a fact that has led many to conclude that conciliationism is self-defeating. After examining one prominent response to this challenge and finding it wanting, the author develops a fresh approach to the problem. He identifies two levels at which one may show epistemic deference--the level of one's credences and the level of one's reasoning--and show that in disagreements over conciliationism, deference at one level results in nondeference at the other. A commitment to epistemic deference therefore does not provide a rational reason to reduce confidence when conciliationism itself is disputed. After presenting the case for resolute conciliationism, the author addresses two objections.

Fittingness, Value, and Trans-World Attitudes, ANDREW REISNER

Philosophers interested in the fitting attitude analysis of final value have devoted a great deal of attention to the wrong kind of reasons problem. This paper offers an example of the reverse difficulty, the wrong kind of value problem, focusing on an example in which favoring something makes that very thing unfitting to favor. This example creates deeper challenges than those raised by the wrong kind of reasons problem for the fitting attitude analysis, challenges that can be addressed only by allowing problematic psychological attitudes to figure in the fitting attitude analysis and by adopting implausibly specific commitments in modal metaphysics and epistemology. The paper concludes by showing that defenders of the fitting attitude analysis must make unappealing trade-offs between the substantiveness and the correctness of the analysis.

Kant on the Object-Dependence of Intuition and Hallucination, ANDREW STEPHENSON

Against a view currently popular in the literature, it is argued that Kant was not a naive realist about perceptual experience. Naive realism entails that perceptual experience is object-dependent in a very strong sense. The first half of the paper explains what this claim amounts to, and the author undermines the evidence that has been marshalled in support of attributing it to Kant. The second half of the paper explores in some detail Kant's account of hallucination and argues that no such account is available to someone who thinks that veridical perceptual experience is object-dependent in the naive realist sense. Kant's theory provides for a remarkably sophisticated, bottom-up explanation of the phenomenal character of hallucinatory episodes and is crucial for gaining a proper understanding of his model of the mind and its place in nature.

The Modal Status of Laws: In Defense of a Hybrid View, TUOMAS E. TAKHO

Three popular views regarding the modal status of the laws of nature are discussed: Humean supervenience, nomic necessitation, and scientific/dispositional essentialism. These views are examined especially with regard to their take on the apparent modal force of laws and their ability to explain that modal force. It will be suggested that none of the three views, at least in their strongest form, can be maintained if some laws are metaphysically necessary, but others are metaphysically contingent. Some reasons for thinking that such variation in the modal status of laws exists will be presented with reference to physics. This drives us toward a fourth, hybrid view, according to which there are both necessary and contingent laws. The prospects for such a view are studied.

Analyzing Animality: A Critical Approach, JASON WYCKOFF

Most people seem to believe that it is wrong to cause needless suffering and death to nonhuman animals, and yet most people also contribute to the needless suffering and death of a great many animals. If speciesism is understood as a psychological prejudice--the tendency of an individual human agent to disregard the interests of animals--then this fact is extremely difficult to explain. The author argues that once speciesism is understood structurally--as a matter of injustice rather than a matter of interpersonal wrongdoing or individual prejudice--the project of explaining how so many humans are implicated in animal suffering becomes much more tractable. Drawing on the work of feminist theorists such as Sally Haslanger and Catharine MacKinnon, the author suggests a way of reconceiving the question of the moral status of animals as a political question about the construction of animals and animality through our social, cultural, legal, and linguistic practices.
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Publication:The Review of Metaphysics
Date:Sep 1, 2015
Previous Article:Mind: vol. 124, no. 495, July 2015.
Next Article:The Philosopical Review: vol. 124, no. 2, April 2015.

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