Argumenta – Journal of Analytic Philosophy

 

Relativized Essentialism about Modalities [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 14 • Author/s: Salim Hirèche
Topics: Epistemology, Metaphysics, Modal Logic, Ontology, Philosophical logic

On what I call absolutist essentialism about modality (AE), the metaphysical necessities are the propositions that are true in virtue of the essence (i.e. Aristotelian, absolute essence) of some entities. Other kinds of necessity can then be defined by restriction—e.g. the conceptual necessities are the propositions that are true in virtue of the essence of conceptual entities specifically. As an account of metaphysical modality and some other kinds (e.g. logical, conceptual), AE may have important virtues. However, when it comes to accounting for further important kinds, like natural or normative…

Dispositional Arrays: Why So Scared of Possible Worlds? [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 14 • Author/s: Lorenzo Azzano
Topics: Epistemology, Metaphysics, Modal Logic, Ontology, Philosophical logic, Philosophy of language

Some philosophers believe that powers are more acceptable, naturalistic, non-ad hoc and actualist-friendly candidates to replace possible worlds (PWs) in a dispositionalist analysis of modality. However, such a swift opposition between powers and PWs is both unwarranted and problematic. Furthermore, there is at least one power-based ontology of PWs, which in turn offers a power-based applied PW-semantics for dispositionalists. On this account, first briefly suggested in Vetter 2015, a PW is taken to be a dispositional array, viz., a power for the entire universe to be so-and-so. I discuss several…

Potentiality and Would-Counterfactuals [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 14 • Author/s: Giulia Casini
Topics: Epistemology, Metaphysics, Modal Logic, Ontology, Philosophical logic

In her book Potentiality: From Dispositions to Modality (2015), Barbara Vetter introduces a new ontological and semantical framework for modal discourse, based on potentiality. Within this framework, Vetter attempts to formulate an embryonic semantical account for counterfactual conditionals. The aim of this paper is to discuss this tentative account of counterfactuals. Being an account at such an early stage, there are many elements and issues that could be discussed, but this work will focus only on one aspect of it. The aspect in question is the treatment of would-counterfactuals, which…

Max Black and Backwards Causation

Issue: Issue 14 • Author/s: Brian Garrett
Topics: Epistemology, Metaphysics, Ontology

In this discussion I point out that Max Black offers not one but two arguments against the (logical/metaphysical) possibility of backwards causation. Although both arguments fail in their intended aim, they show something of importance, viz., that defenders of backwards causation should understand Black’s Houdini example (and others like it) in terms of the ‘multiple causes’ model.

Reconsidering an Ontology of Properties for Quantum Theories [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 16 • Author/s: Emanuele Rossanese
Topics: Epistemology, Logic, Metaphysics, Ontology, Philosophy of science

Da Costa, Lombardi and Lastiri (2013) have proposed an ontology of properties for non-relativistic quantum mechanics within the structure of the modal-Hamiltonian interpretation of the theory. Recently, this proposal has been developed in order to discuss the nature of entanglement and indistinguishability in such an ontology (Fortin and Lombardi 2022) and to explain how particles emerge from an ontology of properties (Lombardi and Dieks 2016). Oldofredi (2021) has also proposed an ontology of properties for Relational Quantum Mechanics. The aim of my paper is then to discuss an ontology of…

Book Reviews

Issue: Issue 16 • Author/s: Marco Facchin, Andrea Lavazza, Giacomo Zanotti
Topics: book reviews, Cognitive science, Epistemology, Metaphysics, Philosophy of mind

The Affective and Practical Consequences of Presentism and Eternalism

Issue: Issue 17 • Author/s: Mauro Dorato
Topics: Epistemology, Metaphysics, Philosophy of science, Theoretical philosophy

In the dispute between presentism and eternalism, the affective dimensions of the debate have been somewhat neglected. Contemporary philosophers of time have not tried to relate these ontological positions with two of the most discussed maxims in the history of ethics—“live in the present” vs. “look at your life under the aspect of the eternity” (sub specie aeternitatis)—that since the Hellenistic times have been regarded as strictly connected with them. Consequently, I raise the question of whether the endorsement of one of these two ontological views can make a practical…

A Note on the Grandfather Paradox

Issue: Issue 17 • Author/s: Brian Garrett
Topics: Epistemology, Metaphysics, Theoretical philosophy

In this note, I am critical of some aspects of David Lewis’s resolution of the Grandfather Paradox. In particular, I argue that Lewis gives the wrong explanation of Tim’s inability to kill Grandfather, and that the correct explanation makes essential reference to the self-undermining character of Tim’s grampicide.
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