Publications

Against ‘Against ‘Against Vague Existence” 
Oxford Studies in Metaphysics Volume 11
forthcoming
Abstract

Alessandro Torza argues that Ted Sider’s Lewisian argument against vague existence is insufficient to rule out the possibility of what he calls ‘super-vague existence’, that is the idea that existence is higher-order vague, for all orders. In this chapter it is argued that the possibility of super-vague existence is ineffective against the conclusion of Sider’s argument since super-vague existence cannot be consistently claimed to be a kind of linguistic vagueness. Torza’s idea of super-vague existence seems to be better suited to model vague existence under the assumption that vague existence is instead a form of ontic indeterminacy, contra what Ted Sider and David Lewis assume. 

The Philosophical Quarterly

A sudden collapse to nihilism
The Philosophical Quarterly
2018, 68: 370–75.

Published | Draft | Abstract

According to Composition is Identity, a whole is literally identical to the plurality of its parts. According to Mereological Nihilism, nothing has proper parts. In this note, it is argued that Composition is Identity can be shown to entail Mereological Nihilism in a much more simple and direct way than the one recently proposed by Claudio Calosi. 

Fine’s McTaggart: Reloaded
Manuscrito
Special Issue: Time and Reality
2017, 40(1): 209-39.

Published | Draft | Abstract

 In this paper I present three arguments (based on the notions of constitution, metaphysical reality, and truth, respectively) with the aim of shedding some new light on the structure of Fine’s (2005, 2006) ‘McTaggartian’ arguments against the reality of tense. Along the way, I also (i) draw a novel map of the main realist positions about tense, (ii) unearth a previously unnoticed but potentially interesting form of external relativism (which I label ‘hyper-presentism’) and (iii) sketch a novel interpretation of Fine’s fragmentalism (which I contrast with Lipman’s 2015, 2016b, forthcoming).

Grounding, contingency and transitivity
Ratio
2017, 30(1): 1-14.

Published | Draft Abstract

Grounding contingentism is the doctrine according to which grounds are not guaranteed to necessitate what they ground. In this paper I will argue that the most plausible version of contingentism (which I will label ‘serious contingentism’) is incompatible with the idea that the grounding relation is transitive, unless either ‘priority monism’ or ‘contrastivism’ are assumed.

Parts ground the whole and are identical to it
Australasian Journal of Philosophy
2016, 94(3): 489-98.

Published | DraftAbstract

What is the relation between the parts taken together and the whole they compose? The recent literature appears to be dominated by two different answers to this question, which are normally thought of as being incompatible. According to the first, the parts taken together are identical to the whole they compose. According to the second, the whole is grounded in its parts. The aim of this paper is to make some theoretical room for the view according to which parts ground the whole they compose while being, at the same time, identical to it.

Grounds, roots and abysses
Thought: A Journal of Philosophy
2016, 5(1): 41-52.

Published | Draft | Abstract

The aim of this paper is to address the ‘Grounding Grounding Problem’, that is, the question as to what, if anything, grounds facts about grounding. I aim to show that, if a seemingly plausible principle of modal recombination between fundamental facts and the principle customarily called ‘Entailment’ are assumed, it is possible to prove not only that grounding facts featuring fundamental, contingent grounds are derivative but also that either they are (at least) partially grounded in the grounds they feature or they are ‘abysses’ (that is, derivative facts without fundamental grounds and lying at the top of an infinitely descending chain of ground).

How to change the past in one-dimensional time
Pacific Philosophical Quarterly
2015, 96(1): 1-11.

Published | Draft | Abstract

The possibility of changing the past by means of time-travel appears to depend on the possibility of distinguishing the past as it is ‘before’ the time travel changes it, from the past as it is ‘after’ the time-traveller has changed it, so to speak. So far, all the metaphysical models that have been proposed to account for the possibility of past-changing time-travels operate this distinction by conceiving of time as multi-dimensional, and thus by significantly inflating our metaphysics of time. The aim of this article is to argue that, by assuming an eternalist and four-dimensionalist ontology, and an exdurantist (or stage-theoretic) theory of persistence, there is an intuitive sense in which past-changing time-travels are metaphysically possible also in one-dimensional time.

Indeterminate actuality and the open future
Analysis
2013, 73(2): 248-260.

PublishedDraftAbstract

The aim of this paper is to propose a novel supervaluationist theory of ‘actually’ in the open future. First, I will argue that any adequate theory of actuality in a branching setting must comply with three main desiderata. Second, I will prove that none of the actuality operators that have been proposed in the literature is up to the task. Finally, I will propose a novel theory of actuality in the open future combining one of the existing definitions of the actuality operator with a new definition of the historical possibility operator, and argue for its adequacy. The central feature of the theory I will advance is the introduction of an actuality parameter capable of being shifted by the historical possibility operator. I will argue that this account appears to not only be consistent with the idea that the future is genuinely open, but also with the general idea that ‘actually’ is, in a relevant sense, a ‘rigid’ operator.

Branching time, actuality and the puzzle of retrospective determinacy
Thought: A Journal of Philosophy
2012, 1(1): 16-25.

Published | Draft | Abstract

The supervaluationist approach to branching time (‘SBT-theory’) appears to be threatened by the puzzle of retrospective determinacy: if yesterday I uttered the sentence ‘It will be sunny tomorrow’ and only in some worlds overlapping at the context of utterance it is sunny the next day, my utterance is to be assessed as neither true nor false even if today is indeed a sunny day. MacFarlane (‘Truth in the Garden of Forking Paths’) has recently criticized a promising solution to this puzzle for falling short of an adequate account of ‘actually’. In this paper, I aim to rebut MacFarlane’s criticism. To this effect, I argue that: (i) ‘actually’ can be construed either as an indexical or as a nonindexical operator; (ii) if ‘actually’ is nonindexical, MacFarlane’s criticism is invalid; (iii) there appear to be independent reasons for SBT-theorists to claim that ‘actually’ is a nonindexical expression

Escape from epistemic island
Analysis
2012, 72(3): 498-506.

PublishedAbstract

It is argued that there are sentences and pairs of sentences, belonging to the family of ‘truth-tellers’ and ‘no–no sentences’, such that it is possible to prove (and, hence come to know) their truth-value.

Fatalism and the necessity of the present: reply to Campbell
Analysis
2010, 70(1): 76-78.

PublishedAbstract

I argue, contra Campbell (2010, ‘Incompatibilism and fatalism: Reply to Loss, Analysis, 70: 71–76) that the principle of the ‘necessity of the present’ I defended in Loss (2009) does not entail fatalism

Free will and the necessity of the present
Analysis
2009, 69(1): 63-69.

PublishedAbstract

Joseph Keim Campbell (2007) has recently criticized Peter van Inwagen’s (1983) Third Argument against compatibilism for its reliance on the existence of a remote past. In response, Anthony Brueckner (2008) has offered a new version of the Third Argument showing that determinism and free will are incompatible for all times t relative to which there is a past (which needn’t be a remote one). In this paper I argue that although Brueckner’s retooled argument fails to prove anything in favour of incompatibilism, its conclusion can be exploited to provide another version of van Inwagen’s original argument that doesn’t rely on the existence of past times, thus withstanding Campbell’s criticism.

Yet another problem for reichenbachian approaches to the semantic analysis of indexical languages
The Reasoner
2008, 2(6): 4-5.

Published 

Actuality in the garden of forking paths
In M. Carrara & V. Morato, Language,

Knowledge and Metaphysics:
selected papers from the 1st SIFA Graduate Conference
, 2008, College Publications, London.

Tempo, totalitá e contraddizione: ció che il principio non dice
[Time, totality and contradiction: what the principle does not say]

In: Francesco Altea, Francesco Berto (eds),
Scenari dell’impossibile.
La contraddizione nel pensiero contemporaneo

[Scenarios of the impossible. Contradiction in contemporary thought],
2007, Il Poligrafo, Padova.