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  1. A Writing Guide for Professional Philosophers.Neil Mehta - manuscript
    This guide focuses on the content and form of excellent philosophical writing, with further comments on reading, thinking, writing processes, publication strategies, and self-cultivation.
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  • Mind, Modality, and Meaning: Toward a Rationalist Physicalism.Gabriel Oak Rabin - 2013 - Dissertation, University of California Los Angeles
    This dissertation contains four independent essays addressing a cluster of related topics in the philosophy of mind. Chapter 1: “Fundamentality Physicalism” argues that physicalism can usefully be conceived of as a thesis about fundamentality. The chapter explores a variety of other potential formulations of physicalism (particularly modal formulations), contrasts fundamentality physicalism with these theses, and offers reasons to prefer fundamentality physicalism over these rivals. Chapter 2:“Modal Rationalism and the Demonstrative Reply to the Master Argument Against Physicalism” introduces the Master Argument (...)
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  • Forms of Luminosity.Hasen Khudairi - 2017
    This dissertation concerns the foundations of epistemic modality. I examine the nature of epistemic modality, when the modal operator is interpreted as concerning both apriority and conceivability, as well as states of knowledge and belief. The dissertation demonstrates how phenomenal consciousness and gradational possible-worlds models in Bayesian perceptual psychology relate to epistemic modal space. The dissertation demonstrates, then, how epistemic modality relates to the computational theory of mind; metaphysical modality; deontic modality; logical modality; the types of mathematical modality; to the (...)
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  • Phenomenal Concepts.Katalin Balog - 2009 - In Brian McLaughlin, Ansgar Beckermann & Sven Walter (eds.), Oxford Handbook in the Philosophy of Mind. Oxford University Press. pp. 292--312.
    This article is about the special, subjective concepts we apply to experience, called “phenomenal concepts”. They are of special interest in a number of ways. First, they refer to phenomenal experiences, and the qualitative character of those experiences whose metaphysical status is hotly debated. Conscious experience strike many philosophers as philosophically problematic and difficult to accommodate within a physicalistic metaphysics. Second, PCs are widely thought to be special and unique among concepts. The sense that there is something special about PCs (...)
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  • Acquaintance and the Mind-Body Problem.Katalin Balog - 2012 - In Simone Gozzano & Christopher S. Hill (eds.), New Perspectives on Type Identity: The Mental and the Physical. Cambridge University Press. pp. 16.
    In this paper I begin to develop an account of the acquaintance that each of us has with our own conscious states and processes. The account is a speculative proposal about human mental architecture and specifically about the nature of the concepts via which we think in first personish ways about our qualia. In a certain sense my account is neutral between physicalist and dualist accounts of consciousness. As will be clear, a dualist could adopt the account I will offer (...)
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  • Cartesian Modality: God's Nature and the Creation of Eternal and Contingent Truth.Kristopher Gordon Phillips - 2014 - Dissertation,
    Much ado has been made regarding Descartes's understanding of the creation of what he called the "eternal truths" because he described them, paradoxically, as both the free creations of God, and necessary. While there are many varying interpretations of Cartesian modality, the issue has heretofore been treated in a vacuum, as a niche issue having little import beyond being an interesting puzzle for Descartes Scholars. I argue that this treatment is misguided, and that in order to properly understand Cartesian philosophy (...)
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  • What Acquaintance Teaches.Alex Grzankowski & Michael Tye - forthcoming - In Thomas Raleigh & Jonathan Knowles (eds.), Acquaintance: New Essays. Oxford University Press.
    In her black and white room, Mary doesn’t know what it is like to see red. Only after undergoing an experience as of something red and hence acquainting herself with red can Mary learn what it is like. But learning what it is like to see red requires more than simply becoming acquainted with it. To be acquainted with something is to know it, but such knowledge, as we argue, is object-knowledge rather than propositional-knowledge. To know what it is like (...)
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  • The Recent Renaissance of Acquaintance.Thomas Raleigh - forthcoming - In Thomas Raleigh & Jonathan Knowles (eds.), Acquaintance: New Essays. Oxford University Press.
    This is the introductory essay to the collection of essays: 'Acquaintance: New Essays' (eds. Knowles & Raleigh, forthcoming, OUP). In this essay I provide some historical background to the concept of acquaintance. I examine various Russellian theses about acquaintance that contemporary acquaintance theorists may wish to reject. I consider a number of questions that acquaintance theorists face. I provide a survey of current debates in philosophy where acquaintance has recently been invoked. And I also provide brief summaries of the other (...)
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  • There Are No Phenomenal Concepts.Derek Ball - 2009 - Mind 118 (472):935-962.
    It has long been widely agreed that some concepts can be possessed only by those who have undergone a certain type of phenomenal experience. Orthodoxy among contemporary philosophers of mind has it that these phenomenal concepts provide the key to understanding many disputes between physicalists and their opponents, and in particular offer an explanation of Mary’s predicament in the situation exploited by Frank Jackson's knowledge argument. I reject the orthodox view; I deny that there are phenomenal concepts. My arguments exploit (...)
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  • Phenomenal Concepts.Pär Sundström - 2011 - Philosophy Compass 6 (4):267-281.
    It's a common idea in philosophy that we possess a peculiar kind of "phenomenal concept" by which we can think about our conscious states in "inner" and "direct" ways, as for example, when I attend to the way a current pain feels and think about this feeling as such. Such phenomenal ways of thinking figure in a variety of theoretical contexts. The bulk of this article discusses their use in a certain strategy – the phenomenal concept strategy – for defending (...)
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  • Absent Qualia and the Mind-Body Problem.Michael Tye - 2006 - Philosophical Review 115 (2):139-168.
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  • Phenomenal Character, Phenomenal Concepts, and Externalism.Jonathan Ellis - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 147 (2):273 - 299.
    A celebrated problem for representationalist theories of phenomenal character is that, given externalism about content, these theories lead to externalism about phenomenal character. While externalism about content is widely accepted, externalism about phenomenal character strikes many philosophers as wildly implausible. Even if internally identical individuals could have different thoughts, it is said, if one of them has a headache, or a tingly sensation, so must the other. In this paper, I argue that recent work on phenomenal concepts reveals that, contrary (...)
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  • Absent Qualia and the Mind-Body Problem.Michael Tye - 2006 - Philosophical Review 115 (2):139-168.
    At the very heart of the mind-body problem is the question of the nature of consciousness. It is consciousness, and in particular _phenomenal_ consciousness, that makes the mind-body relation so deeply perplexing. Many philosophers hold that no defi nition of phenomenal consciousness is possible: any such putative defi nition would automatically use the concept of phenomenal consciousness and thus render the defi nition circular. The usual view is that the concept of phenomenal consciousness is one that must be explained by (...)
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  • Imagining Subjective Absence: Marcus on Zombies.Torin Alter - 2007 - Disputatio 2 (22):91-101.
    Many philosophers accept the conceivability of zombies: creatures that lack consciousness but are physically and functionally identical to conscious human beings. Many also believe that the conceivability of zombies supports their metaphysical possibility. And most agree that if zombies are metaphysically possible, then physicalism is false. So, the claim that zombies are conceivable may have considerable significance. 1.
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  • Why the Exclusion Problem Seems Intractable and How, Just Maybe, to Tract It.Karen Bennett - 2003 - Noûs 37 (3):471-97.
    The basic form of the exclusion problem is by now very, very familiar. 2 Start with the claim that the physical realm is causally complete: every physical thing that happens has a sufficient physical cause. Add in the claim that the mental and the physical are distinct. Toss in some claims about overdetermination, give it a stir, and voilá—suddenly it looks as though the mental never causes anything, at least nothing physical. As it is often put, the physical does all (...)
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  • Zombies, Epiphenomenalism, and Physicalist Theories of Consciousness.Andrew Bailey - 2006 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 36 (4):481-509.
    The University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, CANADA.
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  • Conceptual Analysis and Reductive Explanation.David J. Chalmers & Frank Jackson - 2001 - Philosophical Review 110 (3):315-61.
    Is conceptual analysis required for reductive explanation? If there is no a priori entailment from microphysical truths to phenomenal truths, does reductive explanation of the phenomenal fail? We say yes . Ned Block and Robert Stalnaker say no.
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  • Epistemic Modality, Mind, and Mathematics.Hasen Khudairi - 2017 - Gutenberg.
    This book concerns the foundations of epistemic modality. I examine the nature of epistemic modality, when the modal operator is interpreted as concerning both apriority and conceivability, as well as states of knowledge and belief. The book demonstrates how phenomenal consciousness and gradational possible-worlds models in Bayesian perceptual psychology relate to epistemic modal space. The book demonstrates, then, how epistemic modality relates to the computational theory of mind; metaphysical modality; deontic modality; logical modality; the types of mathematical modality; to the (...)
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  • Where's the Beef? Phenomenal Concepts as Both Demonstrative and Substantial.Robert Schroer - 2010 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (3):505-522.
    One popular materialist response to the explanatory gap identifies phenomenal concepts with type-demonstrative concepts. This kind of response, however, faces a serious challenge: that our phenomenal concepts seem to provide a richer characterization of their referents than just the demonstrative characterization of 'that quality'. In this paper, I develop a materialist account that beefs up the contents of phenomenal concepts while retaining the idea that these contents contain demonstrative elements. I illustrate this account by focusing on our phenomenal concepts of (...)
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  • Two Problems with the Socio-Relational Critique of Distributive Egalitarianism.Christian Seidel - 2013 - In Miguel Hoeltje, Thomas Spitzley & Wolfgang Spohn (eds.), Was dürfen wir glauben? Was sollen wir tun? Sektionsbeiträge des achten internationalen Kongresses der Gesellschaft für Analytische Philosophie e.V. DuEPublico.
    Distributive egalitarians believe that distributive justice is to be explained by the idea of distributive equality (DE) and that DE is of intrinsic value. The socio-relational critique argues that distributive egalitarianism does not account for the “true” value of equality, which rather lies in the idea of “equality as a substantive social value” (ESV). This paper examines the socio-relational critique and argues that it fails because – contrary to what the critique presupposes –, first, ESV is not conceptually distinct from (...)
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  • Epistemology and Possibility.Rebecca Hanrahan - 2005 - Dialogue 44 (4):627-652.
    ABSTRACT: Recently the discussion surrounding the conceivability thesis has been less about the link between conceivability and possibility per se and more about the requirements of a successful physicalist program. But before entering this debate it is necessary to consider whether conceivability provides us with even prima facie justification for our modal beliefs. I argue that two methods of conceiving—imagining that p and telling a story about p—can provide us with such justification, but only if certain requirements are met. To (...)
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  • Why Zombies Are Inconceivable.Eric Marcus - 2004 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82 (3):477-90.
    I argue that zombies are inconceivable. More precisely, I argue that the conceivability-intuition that is used to demonstrate their possibility has been misconstrued. Thought experiments alleged to feature zombies founder on the fact that, on the one hand, they _must_ involve first-person imagining, and yet, on the other hand, _cannot_. Philosophers who take themselves to have imagined zombies have unwittingly conflated imagining a creature who lacks consciousness with imagining a creature without also imagining the consciousness it may or may not (...)
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  • Grounding, Conceivability, and the Mind-Body Problem.Hasen Khudairi - 2018 - Synthese 195 (2):919-926.
    This paper challenges the soundness of the two-dimensional conceivability argument against the derivation of phenomenal truths from physical truths in light of a hyperintensional regimentation of the ontology of consciousness. The regimentation demonstrates how ontological dependencies between truths about consciousness and about physics cannot be witnessed by epistemic constraints, when the latter are recorded by the conceivability—i.e., the epistemic possibility—thereof. Generalizations and other aspects of the philosophical significance of the hyperintensional regimentation are further examined.
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  • Zombies and Epiphenomenalism.Andrew Bailey - 2009 - Dialogue 48 (1):129.
    RÉSUMÉ: Cette étude examine la relation entre la demande que les zombies sont logiquement/métaphysiquement possible et de la position que la conscience phénoménal est epiphenomenal. Il est souvent présumé que la première entraîne ce dernier, et que, par conséquent, toute implausibility dans la notion de conscience epiphenomenalism remet en question la possibilité réelle de zombies. Quatre façons dont les zombist pourrait répondre sont examinées, et je soutiens que les deux les plus fréquemment rencontrés sont insuffisantes, mais les autres—dont l’un est (...)
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  • Phenomenal Concepts and the Explanatory Gap.David J. Chalmers - 2007 - In Torin Alter & Sven Walter (eds.), Phenomenal Concepts and Phenomenal Knowledge: New Essays on Consciousness and Physicalism. Oxford University Press.
    Confronted with the apparent explanatory gap between physical processes and consciousness, there are many possible reactions. Some deny that any explanatory gap exists at all. Some hold that there is an explanatory gap for now, but that it will eventually be closed. Some hold that the explanatory gap corresponds to an ontological gap in nature.
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  • Physicalism, Conceivability and Strong Necessities.Jesper Kallestrup - 2006 - Synthese 151 (2):273-295.
    David Chalmers' conceivability argument against physicalism relies on the entailment from a priori conceivability to metaphysical possibility. The a posteriori physicalist rejects this premise, but is consequently committed to psychophysical strong necessities. These don't fit into the Kripkean model of the necessary a posteriori, and they are therefore, according to Chalmers, problematic. But given semantic assumptions that are essential to the conceivability argument, there is reason to believe in microphysical strong necessities. This means that some of Chalmers' criticism is unwarranted, (...)
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  • Having It Both Ways: Consciousness, Unique Not Otherworldly.Andreas Elpidorou - 2013 - Philosophia 41 (4):1181-1203.
    I respond to Chalmers’ (2006, 2010) objection to the Phenomenal Concept Strategy (PCS) by showing that his objection is faced with a dilemma that ultimately undercuts its force. Chalmers argues that no version of PCS can posit psychological features that are both physically explicable and capable of explaining our epistemic situation. In response, I show that what Chalmers calls ‘our epistemic situation’ admits either of a phenomenal or of a topic-neutral characterization, neither of which supports Chalmers’ objection. On the one (...)
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  • The Trouble with Mary.Victoria McGeer - 2003 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 84 (4):384-393.
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  • The Physicalist's Tight Squeeze: A Posteriori Physicalism Vs. A Priori Physicalism.Robert J. Howell - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (12):905-913.
    Both a priori physicalism and a posteriori physicalism combine a metaphysical and an epistemological thesis. They agree about the metaphysical thesis: our world is wholly physical. Most agree that this requires everything that there is must be necessitated by the sort of truths described by physics. If we call the conjunction of the basic truths of physics P, all physicalists agree that P entails for any truth Q. Where they disagree is whether or not this entailment can be known a (...)
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  • In Defense of Phenomenal Concepts.Bénédicte Veillet - 2012 - Philosophical Papers 41 (1):97-127.
    Abstract In recent debates, both physicalist and anti-physicalist philosophers of mind have come to agree that understanding the nature of phenomenal concepts is key to understanding the nature of phenomenal consciousness itself. Recently, however, Derek Ball (2009) and Michael Tye (2009) have argued that there are no such concepts. Their case is especially troubling because they make use of a type of argument that proponents of phenomenal concepts have typically found persuasive in other contexts; namely, arguments much like those that (...)
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  • Conceivability and Coherence: A Skeptical View of Zombies.Heimir Geirsson - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (1):211-225.
    One reason for the recent attention to conceivability claims is to be found in the extended use of conceivability in philosophy of mind, and then especially in connection with zombie thought experiments. The idea is that zombies are conceivable; beings that look like us and behave like us in all ways, but for which “all is dark inside;” that is, for a zombie, there is no “what it is like.” There is no “what it is like” to be a zombie, (...)
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  • Conceivability and Epistemic Possibility.M. Oreste Fiocco - 2007 - Erkenntnis 67 (3):387-399.
    The notion of conceivability has traditionally been regarded as crucial to an account of modal knowledge. Despite its importance to modal epistemology, there is no received explication of conceivability. In recent discussions, some have attempted to explicate the notion in terms of epistemic possibility. There are, however, two notions of epistemic possibility, a more familiar one and a novel one. I argue that these two notions are independent of one another. Both are irrelevant to an account of modal knowledge on (...)
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  • Access Denied to Zombies.Gualtiero Piccinini - 2017 - Topoi 36 (1):81-93.
    I argue that metaphysicians of mind have not done justice to the notion of accessibility between possible worlds. Once accessibility is given its due, physicalism must be reformulated and conceivability arguments must be reevaluated. To reach these conclusions, I explore a novel way of assessing the zombie conceivability argument. I accept that zombies are possible and ask whether that possibility is accessible from our world in the sense of ‘accessible’ used in possible world semantics. It turns out that the question (...)
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  • How Physicalists Can—and Cannot—Explain the Seeming “Absurdity” of Physicalism.Pär Sundström - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 97 (3):681-703.
    According to a widely held physicalist view, consciousness is identical with some physical or functional phenomenon just as liquidity is identical with loose molecular connection. To many of us, this claim about consciousness seems more problematic than the claim about liquidity. To many—including many physicalists—the identification of consciousness with some physical phenomenon even seems “absurd” or “crazy”. A full defence of physicalism should explain why the allegedly correct hypothesis comes across this way. If physicalism is true and we have reason (...)
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  • The Cogito and the Metaphysics of Mind.Nick Treanor - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 130 (2):247-71.
    That there is an epistemological difference between the mental and the physical is well- known. Introspection readily generates knowledge of one’s own conscious experience, but fails to yield evidence for the existence of anything physical. Conversely, empirical investigation delivers knowledge of physical properties, but neither finds nor requires us to posit conscious experience. In recent decades, a series of neo-Cartesian arguments have emerged that rest on this epistemological difference and purport to demonstrate that mind-brain identity is false and that consciousness (...)
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  • Tye's Ptolemaic Revolution (Review of Consciousness Revisited: Materialism Without Phenomenal Concepts).Janet Levin - 2012 - Analytic Philosophy 53 (1):98-117.
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  • Conceiving of Pain.Brendan O'sullivan & Peter Hanks - 2008 - Dialogue 47 (2):351-376.
    ABSTRACT: In this article we aim to see how far one can get in defending the identity thesis without challenging the inference from conceivability to possibility. Our defence consists of a dilemma for the modal argument. Either "pain" is rigid or it is not. If it is not rigid, then a key premise of the modal argument can be rejected. If it is rigid, the most plausible semantic account treats "pain" as a natural-kind term that refers to its causaI or (...)
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  • Tracking Representationalism.David Bourget & Angela Mendelovici - 2014 - In Andrew Bailey (ed.), Philosophy of Mind: The Key Thinkers. Continuum. pp. 209-235.
    This paper overviews the current status of debates on tracking representationalism, the view that phenomenal consciousness is a matter of tracking features of one's environment in a certain way. We overview the main arguments for the view and the main objections and challenges it faces. We close with a discussion of alternative versions of representationalism that might overcome the shortcomings of tracking representationalism.
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  • The Cognitive Significance of Phenomenal Knowledge.Bénédicte Veillet - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (11):2955-2974.
    Knowledge of what it’s like to have perceptual experiences, e.g. of what it’s like to see red or taste Turkish coffee, is phenomenal knowledge; and it is knowledge the substantial or significant nature of which is widely assumed to pose a challenge for physicalism. Call this the New Challenge to physicalism. The goal of this paper is to take a closer look at the New Challenge. I show, first, that it is surprisingly difficult to spell out clearly and neutrally what (...)
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  • Access Denied to Zombies.Gualtiero Piccinini - 2008 - Unpublished:1-13.
    According to the zombie conceivability argument, phenomenal zombies are conceivable, and hence possible, and hence physicalism is false. Critics of the conceivability argument have responded by denying either that zombies are conceivable or that they are possible. Much of the controversy hinges on how to establish and understand what is conceivable, what is possible, and the link between the two—matters that are at least as obscure and controversial as whether consciousness is physical. Because of this, the debate over physicalism is (...)
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