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  1. The Essence of Agency is Discovered, Not Defined: A Minimal Mindreading Argument.Andrew Sims - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (8):2011-2028.
    In this paper I give a novel argument for this view that the AGENT concept has an externalist semantics. The argument argues the conclusion from two premises: first, that our first relationships to agents is through a subpersonal mechanism which requires for its function an agential proto-concept which refers directly; and second, that there is a continuity of reference between this proto-concept and the mature concept AGENT. I argue the first on the basis of results in the developmental psychology of (...)
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  • Intentional Action and the Post-Coma Patient.Zoe Drayson - 2014 - Topoi 33 (1):23-31.
    Detecting conscious awareness in a patient emerging from a coma state is problematic, because our standard attributions of conscious awareness rely on interpreting bodily movement as intentional action. Where there is an absence of intentional bodily action, as in the vegetative state, can we reliably assume that there is an absence of conscious awareness? Recent neuroimaging work suggests that we can attribute conscious awareness to some patients in a vegetative state by interpreting their brain activity as intentional mental action. I (...)
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  • More Dead Than Dead? Attributing Mentality to Vegetative State Patients.Anil Gomes, Matthew Parrott & Joshua Shepherd - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (1):84-95.
    In a recent paper, Gray, Knickman, and Wegner present three experiments which they take to show that people perceive patients in a persistent vegetative state to have less mentality than the dead. Following on from Gomes and Parrott, we provide evidence to show that participants' responses in the initial experiments are an artifact of the questions posed. Results from two experiments show that, once the questions have been clarified, people do not ascribe more mental capacity to the dead than to (...)
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  • A New Framework for Enactivism: Understanding the Enactive Body Through Structural Flexibility and Merleau-Ponty’s Ontology of Flesh.Jenkinson John - unknown
    The enactive approach to cognition and consciousness offers a valuable alternative to the standard approaches dominant in the sciences of mind. As an embodied account, enactivism incorporates theoretical perspectives on the body from phenomenology, cognitive science, and biology, which provides a unique interpretation of embodiment with critical insight into the embodied nature of cognition and consciousness. Nonetheless, I argue that several revisions are required to make enactivism viable within the context of the sciences of mind. The enactive account of subjectivity (...)
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  • Consciousness, Intention, and Command-Following in the Vegetative State.Colin Klein - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (1):27-54.
    Some vegetative state patients show fMRI responses similar to those of healthy controls when instructed to perform mental imagery tasks. Many authors have argued that this provides evidence that such patients are in fact conscious, as response to commands requires intentional agency. I argue for an alternative reading, on which responsive patients have a deficit similar to that seen in severe forms of akinetic mutism. Akinetic mutism is marked by the inability to form and maintain intentions to act. Responsive patients (...)
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  • Laying Futility to Rest.Michael Nair-Collins - 2015 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 40 (5):554-583.
    In this essay I examine the formal structure of the concept of futility, enabling identification of the appropriate roles played by patient, professional, and society. I argue that the concept of futility does not justify unilateral decisions to forego life-sustaining medical treatment over patient or legitimate surrogate objection, even when futility is determined by a process or subject to ethics committee review. Furthermore, I argue for a limited positive ethical obligation on the part of health care professionals to assist patients (...)
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  • Is Neurolaw Conceptually Confused?Neil Levy - 2014 - The Journal of Ethics 18 (2):171-185.
    In Minds, Brains, and Law, Michael Pardo and Dennis Patterson argue that current attempts to use neuroscience to inform the theory and practice of law founder because they are built on confused conceptual foundations. Proponents of neurolaw attribute to the brain or to its parts psychological properties that belong only to people; this mistake vitiates many of the claims they make. Once neurolaw is placed on a sounder conceptual footing, Pardo and Patterson claim, we will see that its more dramatic (...)
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  • Methodological Encounters with the Phenomenal Kind.Nicholas Shea - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 84 (2):307-344.
    Block’s well-known distinction between phenomenal consciousness and access consciousness has generated a large philosophical literature about putative conceptual connections between the two. The scientific literature about whether they come apart in any actual cases is rather smaller. Empirical evidence gathered to date has not settled the issue. Some put this down to a fundamental methodological obstacle to the empirical study of the relation between phenomenal consciousness and access consciousness. Block (2007) has drawn attention to the methodological puzzle and attempted to (...)
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  • No-Report Paradigmatic Ascription of the Minimally Conscious State: Neural Signals as a Communicative Means for Operational Diagnostic Criteria.Hyungrae Noh - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (1):173-189.
    The minimally conscious sta te (MCS) is usually ascribed when a patientwith brain damage exhibits obser vable volitional behaviors that predict recovery ofcognitive funct ions. Nevertheless, a patient with brain damage who lacks motorcapacit y might nonetheless be in MCS. For this reason, some clinicians use neuralsignals as a communicative means for MCS ascription. For instance, a vegetativestate patient is diagnosed with MCS if activity in the motor area is observed whenthe instruction to imagine wiggling toes is given. The validi (...)
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  • Free Energy and the Self: An Ecological–Enactive Interpretation.Julian Kiverstein - forthcoming - Topoi:1-16.
    According to the free energy principle all living systems aim to minimise free energy in their sensory exchanges with the environment. Processes of free energy minimisation are thus ubiquitous in the biological world. Indeed it has been argued that even plants engage in free energy minimisation. Not all living things however feel alive. How then did the feeling of being alive get started? In line with the arguments of the phenomenologists, I will claim that every feeling must be felt by (...)
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  • Measures of Consciousness.Elizabeth Irvine - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (3):285-297.
    Consciousness is now a hot topic in both philosophy and the cognitive sciences, yet there is much controversy over how to measure it. First, it is not clear whether biased subjective reports should be taken as adequate for measuring consciousness, or if more objective measures are required. Ways to benefit from the advantages of both these measures in the form of ‘Type 2’ metacognitive measures are under development, but face criticism. Research into neurophysiological measures of consciousness is potentially very valuable, (...)
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  • Panpsychism, Intuitions, and the Great Chain of Being.Luke Roelofs & Jed Buchanan - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-27.
    Some philosophical theories of consciousness imply consciousness in things we would never intuitively think are conscious—most notably, panpsychism implies that consciousness is pervasive, even outside complex brains. Is this a reductio ab absurdum for such theories, or does it show that we should reject our original intuitions? To understand the stakes of this question as clearly as possible, we analyse the structured pattern of intuitions that panpsychism conflicts with. We consider a variety of ways that the tension between this intuition (...)
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  • Epicurean Aspects of Mental State Attributions.Anil Gomes & Matthew Parrott - 2015 - Philosophical Psychology 28 (7):1001-1011.
    In a recent paper, Gray, Knickman, and Wegner present three experiments which they take to show that people judge patients in a persistent vegetative state to have less mental capacity than the dead. They explain this result by claiming that people have implicit dualist or afterlife beliefs. This essay critically evaluates their experimental findings and their proposed explanation. We argue first that the experiments do not support the conclusion that people intuitively think PVS patients have less mentality than the dead. (...)
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  • A Taxonomy for Disorders of Consciousness That Takes Consciousness Seriously.Andrew Peterson & Tim Bayne - 2017 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 8 (3):153-155.
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  • Response to Open Peer Commentaries on “Neuroethics: A New Way of Doing Ethics”.Neil Levy - 2011 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 2 (2):W1-W4.
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  • Reductionism as a Research Directive.Fabian Lausen - 2014 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 45 (2):263-279.
    In this paper, I explore the possibilities for arriving at a useful conception of methodological reductionism. Some participants in the debate talk about methodological reductionism as a research program. I argue that the concept of a research program, at least in Lakatos’ sense, cannot account for the diverse nature of methodological reductionism. I then present my own concept of a research directive as a useful alternative and elaborate on this by drawing on Hasok Chang’s theory of ontological principles and epistemic (...)
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