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Ben White
Colby College
  1. Metaphysical Necessity Dualism.Ben White - 2018 - Synthese 195 (4):1779-1798.
    A popular response to the Exclusion Argument for physicalism maintains that mental events depend on their physical bases in such a way that the causation of a physical effect by a mental event and its physical base needn’t generate any problematic form of causal overdetermination, even if mental events are numerically distinct from and irreducible to their physical bases. This paper presents and defends a form of dualism that implements this response by using a dispositional essentialist view of properties to (...)
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  2. Conservation Laws and Interactionist Dualism.Ben White - 2017 - Philosophical Quarterly 67 (267):387–405.
    The Exclusion Argument for physicalism maintains that since (1) every physical effect has a sufficient physical cause, and (2) cases of causal overdetermination are rare, it follows that if (3) mental events cause physical events as frequently as they seem to, then (4) mental events must be physical in nature. In defence of (1), it is sometimes said that (1) is supported if not entailed by conservation laws. Against this, I argue that conservation laws do not lend sufficient support to (...)
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  3.  36
    Attention, Gestalt Principles, and the Determinacy of Perceptual Content.Ben White - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-19.
    Theories of phenomenal intentionality have been claimed to resolve certain worries about the indeterminacy of mental content that rival, externalist theories face. Thus far, however, such claims have been largely programmatic. This paper aims to improve on prior arguments in favor of phenomenal intentionality by using attention and Gestalt principles as specific examples of factors that influence the phenomenal character of perceptual experience in ways that thereby help determine perceptual content. Some reasons are then offered for rejecting an alternative interpretation (...)
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    The Hard Problem Isn’T Getting Any Easier: Thoughts on Chalmers’ “Meta-Problem”.Ben White - 2021 - Philosophia 49:495-506.
    Chalmers’ meta-problem of consciousness is the problem of explaining “problem reports”; i.e. reports to the effect that phenomenal consciousness has the various features that give rise to the hard problem. Chalmers suggests that solving the meta-problem will likely “shed significant light on the hard problem.” Against this, I argue that work on the meta-problem will likely fail to make the hard problem any easier. For each of the main stances on the hard problem can provide an account of problem reports, (...)
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  5.  57
    The Realization of Qualia, Persons, and Artifacts.Ben White - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (S1):182-204.
    This article argues that standard causal and functionalist definitions of realization fail to account for the realization of entities that cannot be individuated in causal or functional terms. By modifying such definitions to require that realizers also logically suffice for any historical properties of the entities they realize, one can provide for the realization of entities whose resistance to causal/functional individuation stems from their possession of individuative historical properties. But if qualia cannot be causally or functionally individuated, then qualia can (...)
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