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  1. Rejecting Epiphobia.Umut Baysan - forthcoming - Synthese:1-19.
    Epiphenomenalism denies some or all putative cases of mental causation. The view is widely taken to be absurd: if a theory can be shown to entail epiphenomenalism, many see that as a reductio of that theory. Opponents take epiphenomenalism to be absurd because they regard the view as undermining the evident agency we have in action and precluding substantial self-knowledge. In this paper, I defend epiphenomenalism against these objections, and thus against the negative dialectical role that the view plays in (...)
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  2. Antireductionist Interventionism.Reuben Stern & Benjamin Eva - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Kim’s causal exclusion argument purports to demonstrate that the non-reductive physicalist must treat mental properties (and macro-level properties in general) as causally inert. A number of authors have attempted to resist Kim’s conclusion by utilizing the conceptual resources of Woodward’s (2005) interventionist conception of causation. The viability of these responses has been challenged by Gebharter (2017a), who argues that the causal exclusion argument is vindicated by the theory of causal Bayesian networks (CBNs). Since the interventionist conception of causation relies crucially (...)
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  3. Dualism and Exclusion.Bram Vaassen - 2021 - Erkenntnis 86 (3):543-552.
    Many philosophers argue that exclusion arguments cannot exclude non-reductionist physicalist mental properties from being causes without excluding properties that are patently causal as well. List and Stoljar (2017) recently argued that a similar response to exclusion arguments is also available to dualists, thereby challenging the predominant view that exclusion arguments undermine dualist theories of mind. In particular, List and Stoljar maintain that exclusion arguments against dualism require a premise that states that, if a property is metaphysically distinct from the sufficient (...)
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  4. Can the Russellian Monist Escape the Epiphenomenalist’s Paradox?Lok-Chi Chan - 2020 - Topoi 39 (5):1093-1102.
    Russellian monism—an influential doctrine proposed by Russell (The analysis of matter, Routledge, London, 1927/1992)—is roughly the view that physics can only ever tell us about the causal, dispositional, and structural properties of physical entities and not their categorical (or intrinsic) properties, whereas our qualia are constituted by those categorical properties. In this paper, I will discuss the relation between Russellian monism and a seminal paradox facing epiphenomenalism, the paradox of phenomenal judgment: if epiphenomenalism is true—qualia are causally inefficacious—then any judgment (...)
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  5. How Can Perceptual Experiences Explain Uncertainty?Susanna Siegel - 2020 - Mind and Language.
    Can perceptual experiences be states of uncertainty? We might expect them to be, if the perceptual processes from which they're generated, as well as the behaviors they help produce, take account of probabilistic information. Yet it has long been presumed that perceptual experiences purport to tell us about our environment, without hedging or qualifying. Against this long-standing view, I argue that perceptual experiences may well occasionally be states of uncertainty, but that they are never probabilistically structured. I criticize a powerful (...)
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  6. Mad Qualia.Umut Baysan - 2019 - Philosophical Quarterly 69 (276):467-485.
    This paper revisits some classic thought experiments in which experiences are detached from their characteristic causal roles, and explores what these thought experiments tell us about qualia epiphenomenalism, i.e., the view that qualia are epiphenomenal properties. It argues that qualia epiphenomenalism is true just in case it is possible for experiences of the same type to have entirely different causal powers. This is done with the help of new conceptual tools regarding the concept of an epiphenomenal property. One conclusion is (...)
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  7. Acquaintance, Parsimony, and Epiphenomenalism.Brie Gertler - 2019 - In Sam Coleman (ed.), The Knowledge Argument. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 62-86.
    Some physicalists (Balog 2012, Howell 2013), and most dualists, endorse the acquaintance response to the Knowledge Argument. This is the claim that Mary gains substantial new knowledge, upon leaving the room, because phenomenal knowledge requires direct acquaintance with phenomenal properties. The acquaintance response is an especially promising way to make sense of the Mary case. I argue that it casts doubt on two claims often made on behalf of physicalism, regarding parsimony and mental causation. I show that those who endorse (...)
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  8. William James's Objection to Epiphenomenalism.Alexander Klein - 2019 - Philosophy of Science 86 (5):1179–1190.
    James developed an evolutionary objection to epiphenomenalism that is still discussed today. Epiphenomenalists have offered responses that do not grasp its full depth. I thus offer a new reading and assessment of James’s objection. Our life-essential, phenomenal pleasures and pains have three features that suggest that they were shaped by selection, according to James: they are natively patterned, those patterns are systematically linked with antecedent brain states, and the patterns are “universal” among humans. If epiphenomenalism were true, phenomenal patterns could (...)
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  9. Nietzsche on the Superficiality of Consciousness.Mattia Riccardi - 2018 - In Manuel Dries (ed.), Nietzsche on consciousness and the embodied mind. De Gruyter. pp. 93-112.
    Abstract: Nietzsche’s famously wrote that “consciousness is a surface” (EH, Why I am so clever, 9: 97). The aim of this paper is to make sense of this quite puzzling contention—Superficiality, for short. In doing this, I shall focus on two further claims—both to be found in Gay Science 354—which I take to substantiate Nietzsche’s endorsement of Superficiality. The first claim is that consciousness is superfluous—which I call the “superfluousness claim” (SC). The second claim is that consciousness is the source (...)
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  10. Mounting Evidence That Minds Are Neural EM Fields Interacting with Brains.Mostyn W. Jones - 2017 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 24 (1-2):159-183.
    Evidence that minds are neural electromagnetic fields comes from research into how separate brain activities bind to form unified percepts and unified minds. Explanations of binding using synchrony, attention, and convergence are all problematic. But the unity of EM fields explains binding without these problems. These unified fields neatly explain correlations and divergences between synchrony, attention, convergence, and unified minds. The simplest explanation for the unity of both minds and fields is that minds are fields. Treating minds as the fields' (...)
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  11. The Evolutionary Argument for Phenomenal Powers.Hedda Hassel Mørch - 2017 - Philosophical Perspectives 31 (1):293-316.
    Epiphenomenalism is the view that phenomenal properties – which characterize what it is like, or how it feels, for a subject to be in conscious states – have no physical effects. One of the earliest arguments against epiphenomenalism is the evolutionary argument (James 1890/1981; Eccles and Popper 1977; Popper 1978), which starts from the following problem: why is pain correlated with stimuli detrimental to survival and reproduction – such as suffocation, hunger and burning? And why is pleasure correlated with stimuli (...)
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  12. Conscious Primitives and Their Reality.Simone Gozzano - 2016 - Rivista Internazionale di Filosofia e Psicologia 7 (2):247-255.
    : In The Varieties of Consciousness, Kriegel argues that it is possible to devise a method to sort out the irreducible primitive phenomenologies that exist. In this paper I argue that his neutrality notwithstanding, Kriegel assumes a form of realism that leaves unresolved many of the conundrums that characterize the debate on consciousness. These problems are evident in the centrality he assigns to introspection and his characterization of cognitive phenomenology. Keywords : Consciousness; Introspection; Realism; Type-identity; Dispositional Properties I primitivi della (...)
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  13. The Unplanned Obsolescence of Psychological Science and an Argument for its Revival.Stan Klein - 2016 - Pyshcology of Consciousness: Theory, Research, and Practice 3:357-379.
    I examine some of the key scientific pre-commitments of modern psychology, and argue that their adoption has the unintended consequence of rendering a purely psychological analysis of mind indistinguishable from a purely biological treatment. And, since these pre-commitments sanction an “authority of the biological”, explanation of phenomena traditionally considered the purview of psychological analysis is fully subsumed under the biological. I next evaluate the epistemic warrant of these pre-commitments and suggest there are good reasons to question their applicability to psychological (...)
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  14. Grounding Causal Closure.Justin Tiehen - 2015 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 96 (3):501-522.
    What does it mean to say that mind-body dualism is causally problematic in a way that other mind-body theories, such as the psychophysical type identity theory, are not? After considering and rejecting various proposals, I advance my own, which focuses on what grounds the causal closure of the physical realm. A metametaphysical implication of my proposal is that philosophers working without the notion of grounding in their toolkit are metaphysically impoverished. They cannot do justice to the thought, encountered in every (...)
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  15. Is Free Will an Illusion? Confronting Challenges From the Modern Mind Sciences.Eddy Nahmias - 2014 - In Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (ed.), Moral Psychology, vol. 4: Freedom and Responsibility. MIT Press.
    In this chapter I consider various potential challenges to free will from the modern mind sciences. After motivating the importance of considering these challenges, I outline the argument structure for such challenges: they require simultaneously establishing a particular condition for free will and an empirical challenge to that condition. I consider several potential challenges: determinism, naturalism, and epiphenomenalism, and explain why none of these philosophical challenges is bolstered by new discoveries from neuroscience and psychology. I then respond to relevant empirical (...)
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  16. Quantum Psychoid Freewill ? Excerpt By.Donato Santarcangelo - 2014 - Milano MI, Italia: By: T. Cantalupi, D. Santarcangelo, Psiche e Realtà - Tecniche Nuove.
    What we've considered so far about the epistemology of human sciences comes up again as to the concept of "destiny''and human free will: who "must" tell us if we are destined or not? Either Neuroscientists or sociologists? Either Philosophers or biochemists? Has psychology anything to say? Do we need a pool to gather them all? Many other questions come up: what determines us and how much? ls there any sense in talking about destiny? We are a complex system and our (...)
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  17. An Argument Against Epiphenomenalism.Jason Megill - 2013 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 9 (2):5 - 17.
    I formulate an argument against epiphenomenalism; the argument shows that epiphenomenalism is extremely improbable. Moreover the argument suggests that qualia not only have causal powers, but have their causal powers necessarily. I address possible objections and then conclude by considering some implications the argument has for dualism.
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  18. Questioning the Causal Inheritance Principle.Ivar Hannikainen - 2010 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 25 (3):261-277.
    Mental causation, though a forceful intuition embedded in our commonsense psychology, is difficult to square with the rest of commitments of physicalism about the mind. Advocates of mental causation have found solace in the causal inheritance principle, according to which the mental properties of mental statesshare the causal powers of their physical counterparts. In this paper, I present a variety of counterarguments to causal inheritance and conclude that the conditions for causal inheritance are stricter than what standing versions of said (...)
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  19. The Microstructure View of the Brain-Consciousness Relation.Michael Schmitz - 2008 - In Sven Walter & Helene Bohse (eds.), Selected Contributions to GAP. 6, Sixth International Conference of the Society for Analytical Philosophy. Berlin:
    How can consciousness, how can the mind be causally efficacious in a world which seems—in some sense—to be thoroughly governed by physical causality? Mental causation has been a nagging problem in philosophy since the beginning of the modern age, when, inspired by the rise of physics, a metaphysical picture became dominant according to which the manifest macrophysical world of rocks, trees, colors, sounds etc. could be eliminated in favor of, or identified with, the microconstituents of these entities and their basic (...)
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  20. Explanatory Gap and Mental Causation.Reena Cheruvalath - 2007 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 26 (1):107-116.
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  21. Ontological Novelty, Emergence, and the Mind-Body Problem.Katalin Balog - 2006 - In Günter Abel (ed.), Kreativität. Hamburg, Germany: pp. 371-399.
    This paper is an exposition and comparison between two views concerning fundamental ontology in the context of the Mind-Body Problem: physicalism and emergent property dualism. I assess the pros and cons of each position and argue that physicalism provides an overall more plausible metaphysics.
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  22. On Causal Relevance: A Reply to Sullivan.Paul Raymont - 2004 - Dialogue 43 (2):367-376.
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  23. Semifactuals and Epiphenomenalism.Danilo Suster - 2001 - Acta Analytica 16 (26):23-43.
    Semifactuals and Epiphenomenalism -/- Mental properties are said to be epiphenomenal because they do not pass the counterfactual test of causal relevance. Jacob (1996) adopts the defence of causal efficacy of mental properties developed by LePore and Loewer (1987). They claim that those who argue for the epiphenomenalism of the mental place too strong a requirement on causal relevance, which excludes causally efficacious properties. Given a proper analysis of causal relevance, the causal efficacy of mental properties is saved. I defend (...)
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  24. Superproportionality and Mind-Body Relations.Stephen Yablo - 2001 - Theoria 16 (40):65-75.
    Mental causes are threatened from two directions: from below, since they would appear to be screened off by lower-order, e.g., neural states; and from within, since they would also appear to be screened off by intrinsic, e.g., syntactical states. A principle needed to parry the first threat -causes should be proportional to their effects- appears to leave us open to the second; for why should unneeded extrinsic detail be any less offensive to proportionality than excess microstructure? I say that the (...)
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  25. An Idle Threat: Epiphenomenalism Exposed.Paul Raymont - 1999 - Dissertation, University of Toronto
    In this doctoral dissertation I consider, and reject, the claim that recent varieties of non-reductive physicalism, particularly Donald Davidson's anomalous monism, are committed to a new kind of epiphenomenalism. Non-reductive physicalists identify each mental event with a physical event, and are thus entitled to the belief that mental events are causes, since the physical events with which they are held to be identical are causes. However, Jaegwon Kim, Ernest Sosa and others have argued that if we follow the non-reductive physicalist (...)
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  26. Apparent Mental Causation: Sources of the Experience of Will.Daniel M. Wegner & T. Wheatley - 1999 - American Psychologist 54:480-492.
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  27. Consciousness, Adaptation, and Epiphenomenalism.Owen J. Flanagan & Thomas W. Polger - 1998 - In James H. Fetzer (ed.), Consciousness Evolving. John Benjamins.
    Consciousness and evolution are complex phenomena. It is sometimes thought that if adaptation explanations for some varieties of consciousness, say, conscious visual perception, can be had, then we may be reassured that at least those kinds of consciousness are not epiphenomena. But what if other varieties of consciousness, for example, dreams, are not adaptations? We sort out the connections among evolution, adaptation, and epiphenomenalism in order to show that the consequences for the nature and causal efficacy of consciousness are not (...)
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  28. An Introduction to Dualism: The Mental to the Fore?Filippo Pelucchi - manuscript
    The contemporary debate around consciousness presents us (and often leads us to embrace) a specific current of thought: physicalism, which states that everything in our reality is physical1. In this paper I want to introduce the main points of the opposite view, dualism, according to which there are two different realms of reality: the mental and the physical one. In the introduction I give the main idea and sketch the general intuition behind dualism. In Section 1 I present substance dualism (...)
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  29. Panpsychism and Real Mental Causation.Lorenzo Sleakes - manuscript
    The following paper is a panpsychist metaphysics and seeks to avoid any radical emergence of mentality. Science has progressed by stripping the world of all mental qualities but a complete understanding of the world must ultimately put these back. The two types of mental qualities that must be reinstated as fundamentals are the private worlds of individual subjects and phenomenal qualities like colors. I view these as separate aspects of mind although they have a history of being conflated. In this (...)
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  30. Why Does Pain Hurt?: An Inquiry Into the Limits of Evolutionary Explanation.Richard Oxenberg -
    In this essay I argue that Darwinian theory, far from supporting a philosophy of metaphysical materialism, actually calls materialism into question. Once this is recognized we see that evolutionary theory, for all its successes (which are considerable), is more limited than is generally supposed in its ability to reveal or explain the ultimate thrust of life.
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