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Reduction of mind

In Samuel Guttenplan (ed.), Companion to the Philosophy of Mind. Blackwell. pp. 412-431 (1994)

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  1. 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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  • Conceptual Reductions, Truthmaker Reductive Explanations, and Ontological Reductions.Savvas Ioannou - 2022 - Synthese 200 (4):1-26.
    According to conceptual reductive accounts, if properties of one domain can be conceptually reduced to properties of another domain, then the former properties are ontologically reduced to the latter properties. I will argue that conceptual reductive accounts face problems: either they do not recognise that many higher-level properties are correlated with multiple physical properties, or they do not clarify how we can discover new truthmakers of sentences about a higher-level property. Still, there is another way to motivate ontological reduction, the (...)
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  • Flat Physicalism.Meir Hemmo & Orly Shenker - 2022 - Theoria 88 (4):743-764.
    This paper describes a version of type identity physicalism, which we call Flat Physicalism, and shows how it meets several objections often raised against identity theories. This identity theory is informed by recent results in the conceptual foundations of physics, and in particular clar- ifies the notion of ‘physical kinds’ in light of a conceptual analysis of the paradigmatic case of reducing thermody- namics to statistical mechanics. We show how Flat Physi- calism is compatible with the appearance of multiple realisation (...)
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  • Conceptual Analysis and African Philosophy.Michael Omoge - 2022 - Philosophical Papers 51 (2):295-318.
    The history of the methodology of African philosophy can be divided into two periods: the nascent stage that’s characterized by a rigor-demand, and the contemporary stage that’s characterized by a...
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  • Do Apes Read Minds?: Toward a New Folk Psychology.Kristin Andrews - 2012 - MIT Press.
    Andrews argues for a pluralistic folk psychology that employs different kinds of practices and different kinds of cognitive tools (including personality trait attribution, stereotype activation, inductive reasoning about past behavior, and ...
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  • Identities, Distinctnesses, Truthmakers, and Indiscernibility Principles.Denis Robinson - 2000 - Logique Et Analyse 43 (169-170):145-183.
    After sketching some aspects of truthmaker doctrines and "truthmaker projects", and canvassing some prima facie objections to the latter, I turn to an issue which might seem to involve confusion about the nature of character of truthmakers if such there be, viz for statements of identity and (specially) distinctness. The real issue here is versions of the Identity of Indiscernibles. I discuss ways of discriminating versions, which are almost certainly true but trivial, which almost certainly substantive but false, and explore (...)
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  • Analysis in Mind.Andrew Botterell - 1998 - Dissertation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    From the time of Descartes to about the 1960s, a certain epistemological idea dominated the philosophy of mind, namely the idea that theses about the relation between mind and body are, if true, a priori truths. Much of recent philosophy of mind is devoted to the question whether that idea is right. My research is largely an attempt to argue that some recent defenses of it are unsuccessful. ;For example, Physicalism is the metaphysical thesis that every actual psychological event, property, (...)
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  • A Defense of Russellian Descriptivism.Brandt H. van der Gaast - unknown
    In this dissertation, I defend a Russellian form of descriptivism. The main supporting argument invokes a relation between meaning and thought. I argue that the meanings of sentences are the thoughts people use them to express. This is part of a Gricean outlook on meaning according to which psychological intentionality is prior to, and determinative of, linguistic intentionality. The right approach to thought, I argue in Chapter 1, is a type of functionalism on which thoughts have narrow contents. On this (...)
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  • Why Difference-Making Mental Causation Does Not Save Free Will.Alva Stråge - forthcoming - Philosophical Explorations:1-15.
    Many philosophers take mental causation to be required for free will. But it has also been argued that the most popular view of the nature of mental states, i.e. non-reductive physicalism, excludes...
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  • The Language of Thought Hypothesis.Murat Aydede - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    A comprehensive introduction to the Language of Though Hypothesis (LOTH) accessible to general audiences. LOTH is an empirical thesis about thought and thinking. For their explication, it postulates a physically realized system of representations that have a combinatorial syntax (and semantics) such that operations on representations are causally sensitive only to the syntactic properties of representations. According to LOTH, thought is, roughly, the tokening of a representation that has a syntactic (constituent) structure with an appropriate semantics. Thinking thus consists in (...)
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  • Assertion, Expression, Experience.Christopher Kennedy & Malte Willer - 2022 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 65 (7):821-857.
    ABSTRACT It has been frequently observed in the literature that assertions of plain sentences containing predicates like fun and frightening give rise to an acquaintance inference: they imply that the speaker has first-hand knowledge of the item under consideration. The goal of this paper is to develop and defend a broadly expressivist explanation of this phenomenon: acquaintance inferences arise because plain sentences containing subjective predicates are designed to express distinguished kinds of attitudes that differ from beliefs in that they can (...)
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  • Deducing the Mind.Andrew Gleeson - 1999 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 42 (3-4):385-410.
    Frank Jackson has argued that, in principle, all mental truths are deducible from all physical science truths: 'deducibility'. Jackson's defence of deducibility relies upon the method for producing naturalistic definitions of mental states championed in the analytical functionalism of himself, David Lewis, and others. Two arguments are presented. The first contends that the particular naturalistic definitions of analytical functionalism fail because they do not take account of the extraordinary kind of bodily animation displayed by human beings, which I argue is (...)
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  • Lewisian Naturalness and a New Sceptical Challenge.Matej Drobňák - forthcoming - Logic and Logical Philosophy:3-28.
    The criterion of naturalness represents David Lewis’s attempt to answer some of the sceptical arguments in semantics by comparing the naturalness of meaning candidates. Recently, the criterion has been challenged by a new sceptical argument. Williams argues that the criterion cannot rule out the candidates which are not permuted versions of an intended interpretation. He presents such a candidate – the arithmetical interpretation semantics by comparing the naturalness of meaning candidates. Recently, the criterion has been challenged by a new sceptical (...)
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  • What is Functionalism?Ned Block - 1980 - In Readings in the Philosophy of Psychology.
    What is Functionalism? Functionalism is one of the major proposals that have been offered as solutions to the mind/body problem. Solutions to the mind/body problem usually try to answer questions such as: What is the ultimate nature of the mental? At the most general level, what makes a mental state mental? Or more specifically, What do thoughts have in common in virtue of which they are thoughts? That is, what makes a thought a thought? What makes a pain a pain? (...)
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  • Epistemological Naturalness: What is a Good Heuristic Strategy Good For?Matej Drobňák - 2018 - Logic and Logical Philosophy 27 (1):85-104.
    According to the standard interpretation of Lewis’s theory of predicate meaning (the U&N theory), the naturalness of meaning candidates should be stated metaphysically - as a length of definition in terms of fundamental properties. Recently, Weatherson has criticized the U&N theory and argued that the criterion of naturalness should be stated epistemologically - as the amount of evidence needed to form a belief. Despite the criticism, his attitude towards the U&N theory is quite relaxed. According to Weatherson, the U&N theory (...)
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  • Introduction: The Character of Physicalism.Andreas Elpidorou - 2018 - Topoi 37 (3):435-455.
    The aim of this editorial introduction is twofold. First, Sects. 1–8 offer a critical introduction to the metaphysical character of physicalism. In those sections, I present and evaluate different ways in which proponents of physicalism have made explicit the metaphysical dependence that is said to hold between the non-physical and the physical. Some of these accounts are found to be problematic; others are shown to be somewhat more promising. In the end, some important lessons are drawn and different options for (...)
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  • More Trouble for Functionalism.Alan Weir - 2001 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 101 (3):267-293.
    In this paper I highlight certain logical and metaphysical issues which arise in the characterisation of functionalism-in particular its ready coherence with a physicalist ontology, its structuralism and the impredicativity of functionalist specifications. I then utilise these points in an attempt to demonstrate fatal flaws in the functionalist programme. I argue that the brand of functionalism inspired by David Lewis fails to accommodate multiple realisability though such accommodation was vaunted as a key improvement over the identity theory. More standard accounts (...)
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  • Why the Canberra Plan Won’T Help You Do Serious Metaphysics.Raamy Majeed - 2018 - Synthese 195 (11):4865-4882.
    Jackson argues that conceptual analysis plays a modest, albeit crucial, role in ‘serious metaphysics’: roughly, the project of demystifying phenomena we take to be mysterious by locating them in the natural world. This defence of conceptual analysis is associated with ‘the Canberra Plan’, a philosophical methodology that has its roots in the works of both Lewis :427–446, 1970, Australas J Philos 50:249–258, 1972) and Jackson. There is, however, a distinction to be drawn between conceptual analysis, as it is typically employed (...)
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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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  • Fundamentality and Levels in Everettian Quantum Mechanics.Alastair Wilson - forthcoming - In Valia Allori (ed.), Quantum Mechanics and Fundamentality. Springer.
    Distinctions in fundamentality between different levels of description are central to the viability of contemporary decoherence-based Everettian quantum mechanics (EQM). This approach to quantum theory characteristically combines a determinate fundamental reality (one universal wave function) with an indeterminate emergent reality (multiple decoherent worlds). In this chapter I explore how the Everettian appeal to fundamentality and emergence can be understood within existing metaphysical frameworks, identify grounding and concept fundamentality as promising theoretical tools, and use them to characterize a system of explanatory (...)
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  • Philosophy of Mind: Classical and Contemporary Readings.David John Chalmers (ed.) - 2002 - Oxford University Press USA.
    What is the mind? Is consciousness a process in the brain? How do our minds represent the world? Philosophy of Mind: Classical and Contemporary Readings is a grand tour of writings on these and other perplexing questions about the nature of the mind. The most comprehensive collection of its kind, the book includes sixty-three selections that range from the classical contributions of Descartes to the leading edge of contemporary debates. Extensive sections cover foundational issues, the nature of consciousness, and the (...)
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  • From Metaphysics to Ethics: A Defence of Conceptual Analysis.Frank Jackson - 1998 - Oxford University Press.
    Frank Jackson champions the cause of conceptual analysis as central to philosophical inquiry. In recent years conceptual analysis has been undervalued and widely misunderstood, suggests Jackson. He argues that such analysis is mistakenly clouded in mystery, preventing a whole range of important questions from being productively addressed. He anchors his argument in discussions of specific philosophical issues, starting with the metaphysical doctrine of physicalism and moving on, via free will, meaning, personal identity, motion, and change, to ethics and the philosophy (...)
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  • Counterparts and Qualities.Manfred Kupffer - unknown
    David Lewis proposed to deal with the semantics of sentences that state what is possible for an individual in terms of possible individuals that are in ways the first individual might have been, so called counterparts of the individual. In this book, I defend counterpart semantics as an approach to the semantics of modality and natural language semantics in particular. Counterpart semantics has a rival, the standard Kripkean semantics that deals with the same sentences in terms of an accessibility relation (...)
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  • Indeterminacy and Variability in Meta-Ethics.Michael B. Gill - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 145 (2):215-234.
    In the mid-20th century, descriptive meta-ethics addressed a number of central questions, such as whether there is a necessary connection between moral judgment and motivation, whether moral reasons are absolute or relative, and whether moral judgments express attitudes or describe states of affairs. I maintain that much of this work in mid-20th century meta-ethics proceeded on an assumption that there is good reason to question. The assumption was that our ordinary discourse is uniform and determinate enough to vindicate one side (...)
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  • Truthmaking: With and Without Counterpart Theory.Phillip Bricker - 2015 - In Barry Loewer & Jonathan Schaffer (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to David Lewis. Blackwell.
    According to the Truthmaker Principle: every truth has a truthmaker. Attempts to come to grips with the Truthmaker Principle played a prominent role in Lewis’s metaphysical writings over the last fifteen years of his career. Although Lewis agreed that the truth of propositions must somehow be ontologically grounded, the Truthmaker Principle was too strong: it conflicted with two of Lewis’s most fundamental metaphysical assumptions, the uniqueness of composition and the Humean denial of necessary connections. Lewis endorsed instead a weaker principle: (...)
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  • Eligibility and Inscrutability.J. Robert G. Williams - 2007 - Philosophical Review 116 (3):361-399.
    Inscrutability arguments threaten to reduce interpretationist metasemantic theories to absurdity. Can we find some way to block the arguments? A highly influential proposal in this regard is David Lewis’ ‘ eligibility ’ response: some theories are better than others, not because they fit the data better, but because they are framed in terms of more natural properties. The purposes of this paper are to outline the nature of the eligibility proposal, making the case that it is not ad hoc, but (...)
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  • Two-Dimensional Semantics and Fictional Names: The Myth of Intension.Seong Soo Park - 2021 - Philosophia 50 (2):639-658.
    According to two-dimensional semantics, primary intension and secondary intension can play the role of reflecting the cognitive aspect of an expression like Fregean sense does. The aim of this paper is to argue that this role is likely a myth. To argue for this, I attempt to show that cognitive aspects of fictional names cannot be explained within the framework of two-dimensional semantics. To be more specific, I consider four ontological theories about fictional characters that two-dimensional semanticists might be tempted (...)
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  • The Significance Argument for the Irreducibility of Consciousness.Adam Pautz - 2017 - Philosophical Perspectives 31 (1):349-407.
    The Significance Argument (SA) for the irreducibility of consciousness is based on a series of new puzzle-cases that I call multiple candidate cases. In these cases, there is a multiplicity of physical-functional properties or relations that are candidates to be identified with the sensible qualities and our consciousness of them, where those candidates are not significantly different. I will argue that these cases show that reductive materialists cannot accommodate the various ways in which consciousness is significant and must allow massive (...)
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  • Theory-Dependence, Warranted Reference, and the Epistemic Dimensions of Realism.Frederick Kroon - 2011 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 1 (2):173-191.
    The question of the role of theory in the determination of reference of theoretical terms continues to be a controversial one. In the present paper I assess a number of responses to this question (including variations on David Lewis’s appeal to Ramsification), before describing an alternative, epistemically oriented account of the reference-determination of such terms. The paper concludes by discussing some implications of the account for our understanding of both realism and such competitors of realism as constructive empiricism.
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  • Quantity and Quality: Naturalness in Metaphysics.M. Eddon - 2009 - Dissertation, Rutgers University
    Ever since David Lewis argued for the indispensibility of natural properties, they have become a staple of mainstream metaphysics. This dissertation is a critical examination of natural properties. What roles can natural properties play in metaphysics, and what structure do natural properties have? In the first half of the dissertation, I argue that natural properties cannot do all the work they are advertised to do. In the second half of the dissertation, I look at questions relating to the structure of (...)
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  • Lewis on Reference and Eligibility.J. R. G. Williams - 2015 - In Barry Loewer & Jonathan Schaffer (eds.), A companion to David Lewis. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 367-382.
    This paper outlines Lewis’s favoured foundational account of linguistic representation, and outlines and briefly evaluates variations and modifications. Section 1 gives an opinionated exegesis of Lewis’ work on the foundations of reference—his interpretationism. I look at the way that the metaphysical distinction between natural and non-natural properties came to play a central role in his thinking about language. Lewis’s own deployment of this notion has implausible commitments, so in section 2 I consider variations and alternatives. Section 3 briefly considers a (...)
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  • Gruesome Diagonals.Laura Schroeter - 2003 - Philosophers' Imprint 3:1-23.
    Frank Jackson and David Chalmers have suggested that the diagonal intensions defined by their two-dimensional framework can play the two key roles of Fregean senses: they provide a priori accessible extension conditions for a representation and they provide the identity conditions for meanings and thought contents. In this paper, I clarify the nature of the psychological abilities that are needed to underwrite the first role. I then argue that these psychological abilities are not sufficiently stable or cognitively salient to individuate (...)
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  • Hempel’s Dilemma: Not Only for Physicalism.Erez Firt, Meir Hemmo & Orly Shenker - 2022 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 34 (2):101-129.
    According to the so-called Hempel’s Dilemma, the thesis of physicalism is either false or empty. Our intention in this paper is not to propose a solution to the Dilemma, but rather to argue as follows: to the extent that Hempel’s Dilemma applies to physicalism it equally applies to any theory that gives a deep-structure and changeable account of our experience or of high-level theories. In particular, we will show that it also applies to mind-body dualistic theories. The scope of Hempel’s (...)
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  • Troubles with the Canberra Plan.Panu Raatikainen - 2020 - Synthese 1 (1-2).
    A popular approach in philosophy, the so-called Canberra Plan, is critically scrutinized. Two aspects of this research program, the formal and the informal program, are distinguished. It is argued that the formal program runs up against certain serious technical problems. It is also argued that the informal program involves an unclear leap at its core. Consequently, it is argued that the whole program is much more problematic than its advocates recognize.
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  • The Natural Origins of Convention.Ian Ravenscroft - 2015 - Philosophia 43 (3):731-739.
    Neo-pragmatists propose that content is determined by social convention. A convention is a coordination problem in which each agent prefers any solution to none, yet has no preference amongst the alternative solutions. This paper argues that the best known theory of convention, David Lewis’, cannot yield a theory of content because it appeals to beliefs and other states that themselves have content. The question then arises whether a theory of convention that does not appeal to states with content can be (...)
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  • Selfless Desires.Daniel Nolan - 2006 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (3):665-679.
    Unified theories of de se attitudes and de dicto attitudes, along the lines of David Lewis’s proposal, face a problem. Whether or not they are adequate for representing beliefs, they can misrepresent the content of many of our desires, which rank possible outcomes in which the agent with the desire does not exist. These desires are shown to play a role in the rational explanation of action, and recognising them is important in our understanding of ourselves. Lewis’s account of attitudes (...)
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  • Neutral Monism.Leopold Stubenberg - 2005 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Physicalism.Daniel Stoljar - 2015 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Physicalism is the thesis that everything is physical, or as contemporary philosophers sometimes put it, that everything supervenes on, or is necessitated by, the physical. The thesis is usually intended as a metaphysical thesis, parallel to the thesis attributed to the ancient Greek philosopher Thales, that everything is water, or the idealism of the 18th Century philosopher Berkeley, that everything is mental. The general idea is that the nature of the actual world (i.e. the universe and everything in it) conforms (...)
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  • The Mind/Brain Identity Theory.Jjc Smart - 2007 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    The identity theory of mind holds that states and processes of the mind are identical to states and processes of the brain. Strictly speaking, it need not hold that the mind is identical to the brain. Idiomatically we do use ‘She has a good mind’ and ‘She has a good brain’ interchangeably but we would hardly say ‘Her mind weighs fifty ounces’. Here I take identifying mind and brain as being a matter of identifying processes and perhaps states of the (...)
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  • Two-Dimensional Semantics.Laura Schroeter - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Two-dimensional (2D) semantics is a formal framework that is used to characterize the meaning of certain linguistic expressions and the entailment relations among sentences containing them. 2D semantics has also been applied to thought contents. In contrast with standard possible worlds semantics, 2D semantics assigns extensions and truth-values to expressions relative to two possible world parameters, rather than just one. So a 2D semantic framework provides finer-grained semantic values than those available within standard possible world semantics, while using the same (...)
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  • Panpsychism.William E. Seager, Philip Goff & Sean Allen-Hermanson - 2022 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    1 Non-reductive physicalists deny that there is any explanation of mentality in purely physical terms, but do not deny that the mental is entirely determined by and constituted out of underlying physical structures. There are important issues about the stability of such a view which teeters on the edge of explanatory reductionism on the one side and dualism on the other (see Kim 1998). 2 Save perhaps for eliminative materialism (see Churchland 1981 for a classic exposition). In fact, however, while.
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  • Mental Causation.David Robb & John Heil - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Worries about mental causation are prominent in contemporary discussions of the mind and human agency. Originally, the problem of mental causation was that of understanding how a mental substance (thought to be immaterial) could interact with a material substance, a body. Most philosophers nowadays repudiate immaterial minds, but the problem of mental causation has not gone away. Instead, focus has shifted to mental properties. How could mental properties be causally relevant to bodily behavior? How could something mental qua mental cause (...)
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  • Relations.Fraser MacBride - 2016 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    In this paper I provide a state of the art survey and assessment of the contemporary debate about relations. After (1) distinguishing different varieties of relations, symmetric from non-symmetric, internal from external relations etc. and relations from their set-theoretic models or sequences, I proceed (2) to consider Bradley’s regress and whether relations can be eliminated altogether. Next I turn (3) to the question whether relations can be reduced, bringing to bear considerations from the philosophy of physics as well as metaphysics. (...)
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  • Interpretations of Probability.Alan Hájek - 2007 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • The Computational Theory of Mind.Steven Horst - 2005 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Over the past thirty years, it is been common to hear the mind likened to a digital computer. This essay is concerned with a particular philosophical view that holds that the mind literally is a digital computer (in a specific sense of “computer” to be developed), and that thought literally is a kind of computation. This view—which will be called the “Computational Theory of Mind” (CTM)—is thus to be distinguished from other and broader attempts to connect the mind with computation, (...)
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  • Carl Hempel.James Fetzer - forthcoming - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Narrow Mental Content.Curtis Brown - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Narrow mental content is a kind of mental content that does not depend on an individual's environment. Narrow content contrasts with “broad” or “wide” content, which depends on features of the individual's environment as well as on features of the individual. It is controversial whether there is any such thing as narrow content. Assuming that there is, it is also controversial what sort of content it is, what its relation to ordinary or “broad” content is, and how it is determined (...)
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  • Conceiving What is Not There.Andrew Botterell - 2001 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 8 (8):21-42.
    In this paper I argue that certain so-called conceivability arguments fail to show that a currently popular version of physicalism in the philosophy of mind is false. Concentrating on an argument due to David Chalmers, I first argue that Chalmers misrepresents the relation between conceivability and possibility. I then argue that the intuition behind the conceivability of so-called zombie worlds can be accounted for without having to suppose that such worlds are genuinely conceivable. I conclude with some general remarks about (...)
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  • The Hard Problem & Its Explanatory Targets.Raamy Majeed - 2016 - Ratio 29 (3):298-311.
    Two decades in, whether we are making any progress towards solving, or even explaining away, what David Chalmers calls the ‘hard’ problem of consciousness is as controversial as ever. This paper aims to argue that there are, in actual fact, two explanatory targets associated with the hard problem. Moreover, this in turn has repercussions for how we assess the explanatory merits of any proposed solution to the problem. The paper ends with a brief exposition of how the present distinction goes (...)
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  • Against Magnetism.Wolfgang Schwarz - 2014 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (1):17-36.
    Magnetism in meta-semantics is the view that the meaning of our words is determined in part by their use and in part by the objective naturalness of candidate meanings. This hypothesis is commonly attributed to David Lewis, and has been put to philosophical work by Brian Weatherson, Ted Sider and others. I argue that there is no evidence that Lewis ever endorsed the view, and that his actual account of language reveals good reasons against it.
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