Wolfgang Schwarz: Papers & Drafts


Lewis's Empiricism
Lewis's models of knowledge and belief don't allow for a priori enquiry. I like these models. But then what is going on when we do metaphysics (or maths)?
Objects of Choice
I suggest that an agent's decision-theoretic options should be construed as primitive propositions corresponding to possible outputs of her decision mechanism.
A Quantificational Analysis of Agentive Modals
I argue that the classical quantificational semantics of ability modals fails to account for a normatively central kind of ability, and suggest a minor tweak to fix the problem.
Modal Epistemology without Modal Facts
I explore a projectivist account of modality and argue that it better explains our practice of acquiring modal beliefs than realist accounts.
Evidentialism and Conservatism in Bayesian Epistemology
I show that in a variety of scenarios, including the Sleeping Beauty problem, there is tension between the "evidentialist" norm that one should proportion one's beliefs to the evidence and the "conservative" norm that one should only changes one's beliefs for good reasons. I argue that we should jettison the evidentialist norm.
Haecceities, Quiddities, and Structure
I seem to suggest that all truths, or at least all truths we can entertain, are made true by the abstract structure of the world.
Discourse, Diversity, and Free Choice
I give a broadly Gricean explanation of various "free choice" phenomena, using ideas from dynamic semantics.
Generalising Kripke Semantics for Quantified Modal Logics
I define Kripke-style counterpart models for a wide range of quantified modal logics, and prove characterisation and correspondence theorems.


From Sensor Variables to Phenomenal Facts Forthcoming in the Journal of Consciousness Studies.
I outline an physicalist explanation of why there appear to be irreducible phenomenal facts.
No Interpretation of Probability In Erkenntnis 83 (2018): 1195-1212 (Online 15 September 2017).
I argue that none of the usual "interpretations of probability" provides a plausible account of probabilistic theories in science, and suggest an alternative.
Imaginary Foundations In Ergo 29 (2018): 764-789 (Online 15 November 2018).
A defense of sense-datum theory, an answer to the input problem for Jeffrey conditioning, and a solution to the hard problem of consciousness.
Subjunctive Conditional Probability In The Journal of Philosophical Logic 47 (2018): 47-66 (Online 14 November 2016).
I discuss recent triviality results for counterfactuals, and different proposals for how to understand subjunctive conditional probability.
Semantic Possibility In D.Ball and B.Rabern (eds.), The Science of Meaning, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018: 361-380
I outline an approach to semantics in which it makes sense to construe meanings as sets of possible worlds, and raise some questions about how we should understand the relevant space of worlds.
Diachronic Norms for Self-Locating Beliefs In Ergo 4 (2017): 709-738 (Online 22 November 2017).
I critically survey most norms that have been proposed for updating self-locating credences, and explain why such norms are needed.
Granularity Problems (with Jens Christian Bjerring) In The Philosophical Quarterly 67 (2017): 22-37 (Online 05 April 2016).
We argue (i) that impossible worlds are less useful to model fine-grained linguistic or mental content than often assumed, and (ii) that it is hard to find a notion of content that is neither too coarse-grained nor too fine-grained.
Best System Approaches to Chance In The Oxford Handbook of Probability and Philosophy, edited by Al Hajek and Chris Hitchcock, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016: 423-439
An advertisement for Best System Accounts of chance, disguised as a survey article.
Lost Memories and Useless Coins: Revisiting the Absentminded Driver In Synthese 192 (2015): 3011-3036 (Online 26 February 2015).
I analyse the paradox of the absentminded driver from different perspectives, and make a few general remarks about unstable decision problems, mixed strategies and the link between objective chance and rational credence.
Belief Update across Fission In The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (2015): 659-682 (Online 11 August 2014).
I complete the update rule proposed in "Changing minds in a changing worlds" by extending it to cases of fission, and add some new arguments and clarifications.
Analytic Functionalism In Barry Loewer and Jonathan Schaffer (eds.), A Companion to David Lewis, Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2015: 504-518
A critical overview of Lewis's philosophy of mind, with some general remarks on methodological issues.
Review of Tychomancy In Philosophy of Science 82 (2015): 313-320. (On JSTOR.)
An essay review of Michael Strevens's Tychomancy: Inferring probability from causal structure.
Counterpart Theory and the Paradox of Occasional Identity In Mind 123 (2014): 1057-1094. (Online)
I present an extended counterpart-theoretic semantics for modal and temporal languages to account for paradoxes of occasional identity. Unlike in standard counterpart theory, Humphrey's counterpart at other worlds or times turns out to be none other than Humphrey himself.
Proving the Principal Principle In Alastair Wilson (ed.), Chance and Temporal Asymmetry, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014: 81-99.
I explain how various Humean accounts of chance, together with independently plausible constraints on rational belief, entail the Principal Principle.
Against Magnetism In Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (2014): 17-36 (Online 13 March 2013).
I argue that there is no good evidence that Lewis ever endorsed a magnetic conception of meaning, and that his actual account of language reveals convincing arguments against it.
Contingent Identity In Philosophy Compass 8 (2013): 486-495 (Online 27 March 2013).
A review of arguments for and against the coherence of contingent identity.
Variations on a Montagovian Theme In Synthese 190 (2013): 3377-3395 (Online 15 September 2012).
In some contexts, one might want to model the objects of knowledge, belief, probability, apriority or analyticity as sentences. However, this idea faces serious obstacles from mathematical logic.
How Things are Elsewhere: Adventures in Counterpart Semantics In Greg Restall and Gillian Russell (eds.), New Waves in Philosophical Logic, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillian 2012: 8-29.
I defend a simple model theory for quantified modal and hybrid logics based on ideas from counterpart theory.
Changing Minds in a Changing World In Philosophical Studies 159 (2012): 219-239 (Online 20 January 2011).
I propose a general rule for updating beliefs that takes into account both the impact of new evidence and changes in the subject's location.
Modal Metaphysics and Conceptual Metaphysics In H. Bohse et al. (Eds.), Selected Papers Contributed to the Sections of GAP.6, Sixth International Congress of the German Society for Analytical Philosophy, Paderborn: mentis 2007: 520-528
I compare the old-fashioned view of metaphysics as an inquiry into broadly conceptual connections with the by now equally old-fashioned view of metaphysics as an inquiry into modal connections. I argue against proposals by Jackson and Lewis that the two projects ultimately coincide, and claim that we should prefer the conceptual project.

Some older drafts

Lewisian Meaning without Naturalness Draft (2006). A predecessor of "Against Magnetism"
It is widely assumed that objective naturalness plays a central role in Lewis's theory meaning. I argue that this is wrong: naturalness does figure in Lewis's theory, but its role is limited and it could be dropped without great damage.
Emperors, dragons, and other mathematicalia Draft (2005)
One of the most intriguing applications of possibilia is the reduction of mathematical truths. I argue that this is not only technically feasible, but also supported by general methodological considerations, that it reflects a natural understanding of mathematical statements and that it solves most of the philosophical puzzles surrounding mathematics
Parts and Counterparts Draft (2005)
Ordinary objects - people, planets, tables and rivers - exist at various worlds, times and places. But what does that mean? One account says that things exist at other worlds, times and places by having parts at these worlds, times and places. Another says that they have counterparts there. I argue that these two accounts are one and the same.