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Alex Byrne
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  1. Gender Muddle: Reply to Dembroff.Alex Byrne - manuscript
    Dembroff’s “Escaping the natural attitude about gender” replies to my “Are women adult human females?”. This paper responds to Dembroff’s numerous criticisms of my arguments, as well as to the charge that “Are women...” is “fundamentally is an unscholarly attempt to vindicate a political slogan that is currently being used to undermine civic rights and respect for trans persons”. I argue that Dembroff’s criticisms fail without exception, and explain why the claims about my motives are baseless.
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  2. Are women adult human females?Alex Byrne - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (12):3783-3803.
    Are women (simply) adult human females? Dictionaries suggest that they are. However, philosophers who have explicitly considered the question invariably answer no. This paper argues that they are wrong. The orthodox view is that the category *woman* is a social category, like the categories *widow* and *police officer*, although exactly what this social category consists in is a matter of considerable disagreement. In any event, orthodoxy has it that *woman* is definitely not a biological category, like the categories *amphibian* or (...)
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  3. Comment on Yli-Vakkuri and Hawthorne, Narrow Content.Alex Byrne - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    This comment concentrates on Y&H’s preferred framework for discussing the issue of broad vs. narrow content, arguing that it is not well-suited to the task; once a more traditional framework is adopted, Y&H’s case against internalism is strengthened. The comment ends by briefly mentioning an appealing internalist picture that their otherwise comprehensive critique does not address.
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  4. Concepts, Belief, and Perception.Alex Byrne - forthcoming - In C. Demmerling & D. Schröder (eds.), Concepts in Thought, Action, and Emotion: New Essays.
    At least in one well-motivated sense of ‘concept’, all perception involves concepts, even perception as practiced by lizards and bees. That is because—the paper argues—all perception involves belief.
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  5. Transparency, Belief, Intention.Alex Byrne - 2011 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 85:201-21.
    This paper elaborates and defends a familiar ‘transparent’ account of knowledge of one's own beliefs, inspired by some remarks of Gareth Evans, and makes a case that the account can be extended to mental states in general, in particular to knowledge of one's intentions.
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  6. Rich or Thin?Susanna Siegel & Alex Byrne - 2017 - In Bence Nanay (ed.), Current Controversies in Philosophy of Perception. New York, USA: Routledge.
    Siegel and Byrne debate whether perceptual experiences present rich properties or exclusively thin properties.
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  7. The Science of Color and Color Vision.Alex Byrne & David R. Hilbert - forthcoming - In Fiona Macpherson & Derek Brown (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Colour. London: Routledge.
    A survey of color science and color vision.
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  8. The Epistemic Significance of Experience.Alex Byrne - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173:947-67.
    According to orthodoxy, perceptual beliefs are caused by perceptual experiences. The paper argues that this view makes it impossible to explain how experiences can be epistemically significant. A rival account, on which experiences in the “good case” are ways of knowing, is set out and defended.
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  9. Knowing What I See.Alex Byrne - 2012 - In Declan Smithies & Daniel Stoljar (eds.), Introspection and Consciousness. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    How do I know that I see a cat? A curiously under-asked question. The paper tries to answer it.
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  10. Recollection, Perception, Imagination.Alex Byrne - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 148:15 - 26.
    Remembering a cat sleeping (specifically, recollecting the way the cat looked), perceiving (specifically, seeing) a cat sleeping, and imagining (specifically, visualizing) a cat sleeping are of course importantly different. Nonetheless, from the first-person perspective they are palpably alike. The paper addresses two questions: Q1. What are these similarities (and differences)? Q2. How does one tell that one is recalling (and so not perceiving or imagining)?
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  11. Schellenberg’s Capacitism.Alex Byrne - 2019 - Analysis 79 (4):713-19.
    The Unity of Perception offers a grand synoptic vision of how perception, consciousness and knowledge fit together. It is a remarkable achievement. A short comment can only address fragments of Schellenberg’s picture; naturally I will look for weak spots.
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  12. Perception and Ordinary Objects.Alex Byrne - 2019 - In Javier Cumpa & Bill Brewer (eds.), The Nature of Ordinary Objects. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
    The paper argues -- against the standard view in metaphysics -- that the existence of ordinary objects like tomatoes is (near-enough) established by the fact that such things are apparently encountered in perception.
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  13. Color Relationalism and Relativism.Alex Byrne & David R. Hilbert - 2017 - Topics in Cognitive Science 9 (1):172-192.
    This paper critically examines color relationalism and color relativism, two theories of color that are allegedly supported by variation in normal human color vision. We mostly discuss color relationalism, defended at length in Jonathan Cohen's The Red and the Real, and argue that the theory has insuperable problems.
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  14. Objectivist Reductionism.Alex Byrne & David R. Hilbert - forthcoming - In Fiona Macpherson & Derek Brown (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Colour. London: Routledge.
    A survey of arguments for and against the view that colors are physical properties.
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  15. Knowing What I Want.Alex Byrne - 2011 - In JeeLoo Liu & John Perry (eds.), Consciousness and the Self: New Essays. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
    How do you know what you want? The question is neglected by epistemologists. This paper attempts an answer.
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  16. Review of Brewer, Perception and Its Objects. [REVIEW]Alex Byrne - forthcoming - Mind:fzz063.
    Review of Perception and Its Objects (OUP 2011), by Bill Brewer.
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  17. Do Colours Look Like Dispositions? Reply to Langsam and Others.Alex Byrne - 2001 - Philosophical Quarterly 51 (203):238-245.
    Dispositional theories of colour have been attacked by McGinn and others on the ground that ‘Colours do not look like dispositions’. Langsam has argued that on the contrary they do, in ‘Why Colours Do Look Like Dispositions’, The Philosophical Quarterly, 50 , pp. 68–75. I make three claims. First, neither side has made its case. Secondly, it is true, at least on one interpretation, that colours do not look like dispositions. Thirdly, this does not show that dispositionalism about colours is (...)
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  18. Skepticism About the Internal World.Alex Byrne - 2015 - In Gideon Rosen, Alex Byrne, Joshua Cohen & Seana Valentine Shiffrin (eds.), The Norton Introduction to Philosophy. W. W. Norton.
    Skepticism about the internal world is actually more troubling than skepticism about the external world.
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  19. Perception and Evidence.Alex Byrne - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 170:101-113.
    Critical discussion of Susanna Schellenberg's account of hallucination and perceptual evidence.
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  20. Interpretivism.Alex Byrne - 1998 - European Review of Philosophy 3:199-223.
    In the writings of Daniel Dennett and Donald Davidson we find something like the following bold conjecture: it is an a priori truth that there is no gap between our best judgements of a subject's beliefs and desires and the truth about the subject's beliefs and desires. Under ideal conditions a subject's belief-box and desire-box become transparent.
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  21. Sensory Qualities, Sensible Qualities, Sensational Qualities.Alex Byrne - 2011 - In Brian McLaughlin, Ansgar Beckermann & Sven Walter (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Mind. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Philosophers of mind have distinguished (and sometimes conflated) various qualities. This article tries to sort things out.
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  22. McDowell and Wright on Anti-Scepticism Etc.Alex Byrne - 2014 - In Dylan Dodd & Elia Zardini (eds.), Scepticism and Perceptual Justification. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    On the assumption that we may learn from our elders and betters, this paper approaches some fundamental questions in perceptual epistemology through a dispute between McDowell and Wright about external world scepticism.
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  23. Review Essay of Dorit Bar-On’s Speaking My Mind. [REVIEW]Alex Byrne - 2011 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 83:705-17.
    “Avowals” are utterances that “ascribe [current] states of mind”; for instance utterances of ‘I have a terrible headache’ and ‘I’m finding this painting utterly puzzling’ (Bar-On 2004: 1). And avowals, “when compared to ordinary empirical reports…appear to enjoy distinctive security” (1), which Bar-On elaborates as follows: A subject who avows being tired, or scared of something, or thinking that p, is normally presumed to have the last word on the relevant matters; we would not presume to criticize her self-ascription or (...)
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  24.  89
    Hill on Mind.Alex Byrne - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173:831-39.
    Hill's views on visual experience are critically examined.
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  25. Hmm… Hill on the Paradox of Pain.Alex Byrne - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 161:489-96.
    Critical discussion of Chris Hill's perceptual theory of pain.
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  26.  22
    Comments.Alex Byrne - 2006 - Dialectica 60 (3):337-340.
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