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Erik C. Banks
Wright State University
  1. Neutral Monism Reconsidered.Erik C. Banks - 2010 - Philosophical Psychology 23 (2):173-187.
    Neutral monism is a position in metaphysics defended by Mach, James, and Russell in the early twentieth century. It holds that minds and physical objects are essentially two different orderings of the same underlying neutral elements of nature. This paper sets out some of the central concepts, theses and the historical background of ideas that inform this doctrine of elements. The discussion begins with the classic neutral monism of Mach, James, and Russell in the first part of the paper, then (...)
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  2. Kant, Herbart and Riemann.Erik C. Banks - 2005 - Kant-Studien 96 (2):208-234.
    A look at the dynamical concept of space and space-generating processes to be found in Kant, J.F. Herbart and the mathematician Bernhard Riemann's philosophical writings.
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  3. Extension and Measurement: A Constructivist Program From Leibniz to Grassmann.Erik C. Banks - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (1):20-31.
    Extension is probably the most general natural property. Is it a fundamental property? Leibniz claimed the answer was no, and that the structureless intuition of extension concealed more fundamental properties and relations. This paper follows Leibniz's program through Herbart and Riemann to Grassmann and uses Grassmann's algebra of points to build up levels of extensions algebraically. Finally, the connection between extension and measurement is considered.
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  4. Williams James' Direct Realism: A Reconstruction.Erik C. Banks - 2013 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 30 (3):271-291.
    William James' Radical Empiricist essays offer a unique and powerful argument for direct realism about our perceptions of objects. This theory can be completed with some observations by Kant on the intellectual preconditions for a perceptual judgment. Finally James and Kant deliver a powerful blow to the representational theory of perception and knowledge, which applies quite broadly to theories of representation generally.
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  5. Metaphysics for Positivists: Mach Versus the Vienna Circle.Erik C. Banks - 2013 - Discipline Filosophiche 23 (1):57-77.
    This article distinguishes between Machian empiricism and the logical positivism of the Vienna Circle and associated philosophers. Mach's natural philosophy was a first order attempt to reform and reorganize physics, not a second order reconstruction of the "language" of physics. Mach's elements were not sense data but realistic events in the natural world and in minds, and Mach admitted unobserved elements as part of his world view. Mach's critique of metaphysics was far more subtle and concerned the elimination of sensory (...)
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  6. Sympathy for the Devil: Reconsidering Ernst Mach's Empiricism. [REVIEW]Erik C. Banks - 2012 - Metascience 21 (2):321-330.
    A 2012 review article for Metascience which explains Mach's realistic brand of empiricism, contrasting it with the common phenomenalist reading of Mach by John Blackmore in two recent books.
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  7. The Case for Ernst Mach's Neutral Monism.Erik C. Banks - manuscript
    This paper, for two upcoming volumes, makes what I consider to be the definitive textual case for finally rejecting the phenomenalist interpretation of Ernst Mach's works, and his customary association with the Vienna Circle, in favor of a stronger realistic neutral monist reading connecting him to James, Russell and the American realist movement and today's neutral monism (for example my 2014). I hope that this reading will eventually supplant the previously mistaken view of Mach's work and that his views of (...)
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  8. Review of Blackmore. [REVIEW]Erik C. Banks - 2012 - Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences 48 (4):395-397.
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  9. Ernst Mach and the Episode of the Monocular Depth Sensations.Erik C. Banks - 2001 - Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences 37 (4):327-348.
    A look at Mach's work on monocular stereoscopy with relation to Mach Bands and the sensation of space.
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  10.  80
    Grete Hermann as Neo-Kantian Philosopher of Space and Time.Erik C. Banks - manuscript
    This paper for an upcoming journal volume examines Grete Hermann's Naturphilosophischen Grundlagen der Quantenmechanik (1935) and the relative context, or perspectival, interpretation of standard quantum mechanics found therein. I find an argument for the emergence of limited spatio-temporal and retrocausal stories, from a chosen experimental perspective, within a larger set of entangled systems not subject to a spatio-temporal interpretation. This argument can be read in reverse as giving some of the necessary preconditions of spatio-temporal representations as based upon perspectival relations, (...)
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  11. The Problem of Extension in Natural Philosophy.Erik C. Banks - 2008 - Philosophia Naturalis 45 (2):211-235.
    An overview of the problem of constructing extension combinatorially from qualities cum dispositional powers. In the model recommended here, Grassmann's algebra provides the combinatorial structure while Machian elements give the content.
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  12.  40
    Empiricism or Pragmatism? Mach's Ideas in America.Erik C. Banks - forthcoming - Vienna Circle Institute Yearbook.
    I examine Mach's influence on American philosophy from 1890-1910, on Carus, James, Peirce, the American Realists and J.B. Stallo. I also consider the question of whether Mach was a pragmatist in the sense of Peirce and James. I conclude that early pragmatism was a method-centric theory whereas Mach's empiricism prized agreement with experience and downplayed the significance of inductive-scientific methods in general as a guide to discovery.
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  13.  32
    Tu Quoque: The Strong AI Challenge to Selfhood, Intentionality and Meaning and Some Artistic Responses.Erik C. Banks - manuscript
    This paper offers a "tu quoque" defense of strong AI, based on the argument that phenomena of self-consciousness and intentionality are nothing but the "negative space" drawn around the concrete phenomena of brain states and causally connected utterances and objects. Any machine that was capable of concretely implementing the positive phenomena would automatically inherit the negative space around these that we call self-consciousness and intention. Because this paper was written for a literary audience, some examples from Greek tragedy, noir fiction, (...)
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  14.  27
    Russell's 1919 "Neutral Monist" Conversion?Erik C. Banks - manuscript
    Bertrand Russell in "My Philosophical Development" claimed he converted to neutral monism in 1919, in the essay "On Propositions." I question whether Russell was really a complete neutral monist in the style of Mach and James and conclude that he was not. Russell's lingering commitment to image propositions and a linguistic theory of meaning and truth and falsity separate him from the more naturalistic causal theory of knowledge and error one finds in James and Mach.
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