Isaac Wilhelm

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Books

  • Logic and Justice (forthcoming). Routledge.
    • Covers the basics of propositional logic, and first-order logic, while explaining their relevance to social justice and political reform.
    • This textbook frames propositional logic and first-order logic as two reasonable answers to the question "What makes some arguments good and other arguments bad?" That question is extremely relevant to social and political reform. To bring about justice and change, it is important that we be able to evaluate and criticize the arguments given by politicians, lawyers, lobbyists, CEOs, billionaires, journalists, media personalities, religious leaders, and so on. Propositional logic, and first-order logic, can help with that.

Articles (academic)

  1. Centering the Everett Interpretation (forthcoming). Philosophical Quarterly.
    • I show that centered chances—objective chances, that is, of centered propositions—can be used to formulate an attractive version of the Everett interpretation, one which avoids problems that standard versions face.
  2. Worlds are Pluralities (forthcoming). Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
    • I argue that possible worlds are pluralities of sentences in an extremely large language, and I raise a cardinality problem for views which identify worlds with sets rather than pluralities.
  3. Comparing Mathematical Explanations (forthcoming). The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    • I develop an account of how to compare the explanatory capacities of mathematical proofs.
  4. Bohmian Collapse (forthcoming). In A. Bassi, S. Goldstein, R. Tumulka, and N. Zanghì, eds., Physics and the Nature of Reality: Essays in Memory of Detlef Dürr. Springer.
    • I present, in accessible yet rigorous terms, the Bohmian account of collapse; I also discuss the account's virtues.
  5. Intrinsicality and Entanglement (2022). Mind 131: 35-58.
    • I show that when applied to entangled quantum systems, Langton and Lewis's analysis of intrinsicality faces a puzzle.
  6. Pluralities, Counterparts, and Groups (2022). Philosophical Studies 179: 2133-2153.
    • I propose and defend the view that groups are pluralities at times, and I compare that view to both (i) other views of groups in the literature, and (ii) analogous views of objects.
  7. Tractability and Laws (2022). Synthese 200: 1-17.
    • I propose a best system account of laws in which calculational tractability, along with simplicity and strength, determines lawhood.
  8. Typical: A Theory of Typicality and Typicality Explanation (2022). The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 73: 561-581.
    • I argue that facts about what is typical—for instance, the fact that gases typically evolve to equilibrium—can explain.
    • Featured in the OUP "Best of Philosophy 2019" article collection.
  9. Centering the Principal Principle (2021). Philosophical Studies 178: 1897-1915.
    • I show that centered propositions pose a serious problem for Lewis's Principal Principle, and I solve the problem by proposing that centered propositions can be objectively chancy.
  10. Comparing the Structures of Mathematical Objects (2021). Synthese 199: 6357-6369.
    • I use automorphism groups to say what it takes for one mathematical object to have at least as much structure as another.
  11. Explanatory Priority Monism (2021). Philosophical Studies 178: 1339-1359.
    • I argue that a single relation (i) backs all cases of explanation, and (ii) explains why other relations—causation, grounding, and so on—are explanation-backing.
  12. Grounding and Propositional Identity (2021). Analysis 81: 80-81.
    • I prove that standard conditions for grounding contradict standard conditions for the identities of propositions.
  13. The Counteridentical Account of Explanatory Identities (2021). The Journal of Philosophy 118: 57-78.
    • I propose a theory of how identity facts explain by using (i) explanatory counterfactuals, (ii) counterpart theory, (iii) impossible worlds, and (iv) structural equation models.
  14. A Statistical Analysis of Luck (2020). Synthese 197: 867-885.
    • I analyze luck using the Mentaculus, a statistical mechanical theory of probability.
  15. An Argument for Entity Grounding (2020). Analysis 80: 500-507.
    • I argue for the view that non-facts—as well as facts—can ground.
  16. Interventionist Explanation and the Problem of Single Variable Boundary Constraints (2020). Noûs 54: 945-955.
    • I use laws featuring just one variable to raise a problem—and suggest a solution—for interventionist accounts of explanation.
  17. The Logic of Typicality (2020). In V. Allori, ed., Statistical Mechanics and Scientific Explanation: Determinism, Indeterminism and Laws of Nature. World Scientific (with Harry Crane).
    • I propose a formal system, based on propositional modal logic, for reasoning about typicality.
  18. The Stage Theory of Groups (2020). Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98: 661-674.
    • I propose an account of groups: roughly, groups are fusions of pluralities at worlds and times.
  19. Celestial Chaos: The New Logics of Theory-Testing in Orbital Dynamics (2019). Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 65: 97-102.
    • I argue that a new research methodology, currently emerging in the fields of astronomy and spacecraft trajectory design, solves several epistemological problems posed by chaotic dynamics in the solar system.
  20. The Ontology of Mechanisms (2019). The Journal of Philosophy 116: 615-636.
    • I use causation to formulate existence conditions, identity conditions, and parthood conditions for mechanisms.
  21. New Data on the Representation of Women in Philosophy Journals: 2004-2015 (2018). Philosophical Studies 175: 1441-1464 (with Sherri Conklin and Nicole Hassoun).
    • We present and analyze data on the percentage of women authors of articles in 25 top philosophy journals.
  22. The Representation of Belief (2018). Journal of Philosophical Logic 47: 715-732.
    • I prove that if an agent's set of beliefs satisfies Scott's axiom, then that set of beliefs can be formally represented by a probability function.