Results for 'Jonathan A. Simon'

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Jonathan Simon
Université de Montréal
  1. Vagueness and zombies: why ‘phenomenally conscious’ has no borderline cases.Jonathan A. Simon - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (8):2105-2123.
    I argue that there can be no such thing as a borderline case of the predicate ‘phenomenally conscious’: for any given creature at any given time, it cannot be vague whether that creature is phenomenally conscious at that time. I first defend the Positive Characterization Thesis, which says that for any borderline case of any predicate there is a positive characterization of that case that can show any sufficiently competent speaker what makes it a borderline case. I then appeal to (...)
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  2. Using philosophy to improve the coherence and interoperability of applications ontologies: A field report on the collaboration of IFOMIS and L&C.Jonathan Simon, James Matthew Fielding & Barry Smith - 2004 - In Gregor Büchel, Bertin Klein & Thomas Roth-Berghofer (eds.), Proceedings of the First Workshop on Philosophy and Informatics. Deutsches Forschungs­zentrum für künstliche Intelligenz, Cologne: 2004 (CEUR Workshop Proceedings 112). pp. 65-72.
    The collaboration of Language and Computing nv (L&C) and the Institute for Formal Ontology and Medical Information Science (IFOMIS) is guided by the hypothesis that quality constraints on ontologies for software ap-plication purposes closely parallel the constraints salient to the design of sound philosophical theories. The extent of this parallel has been poorly appreciated in the informatics community, and it turns out that importing the benefits of phi-losophical insight and methodology into application domains yields a variety of improvements. L&C’s LinKBase® (...)
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  3. Truthmaker Explanations.Barry Smith & Jonathan Simon - 2007 - In Jean-Maurice Monnoyer (ed.), Metaphysics and Truthmakers. Ontos Verlag. pp. 79-98.
    This paper is a fresh attempt to articulate the role of a theory of truthmakers. We argue that truthmaker theory constitutes a cornerstone of good methodology in metaphysics, but that a conflation of truthmaker theory with the theory of truth has been responsible for certain excesses associated with truthmaker-based approaches in the recent literature. If truthmaker theory is not a component of a theory of truth, then truthmaker maximalism – the view that every truth has a truthmaker – loses its (...)
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  4. Formal Ontology for Natural Language Processing and the Integration of Biomedical Databases.Jonathan Simon, James M. Fielding, Mariana C. Dos Santos & Barry Smith - 2005 - International Journal of Medical Informatics 75 (3-4):224-231.
    The central hypothesis of the collaboration between Language and Computing (L&C) and the Institute for Formal Ontology and Medical Information Science (IFOMIS) is that the methodology and conceptual rigor of a philosophically inspired formal ontology greatly benefits application ontologies. To this end r®, L&C’s ontology, which is designed to integrate and reason across various external databases simultaneously, has been submitted to the conceptual demands of IFOMIS’s Basic Formal Ontology (BFO). With this project we aim to move beyond the level of (...)
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  5. Ontological theory for ontological engineering: Biomedical systems information integration.James M. Fielding, Jonathan Simon, Werner Ceusters & Barry Smith - 2004 - In Fielding James M., Simon Jonathan, Ceusters Werner & Smith Barry (eds.), Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on the Principles of Knowledge Representation and Reasoning (KR2004), Whistler, BC, 2-5 June 2004. pp. 114–120.
    Software application ontologies have the potential to become the keystone in state-of-the-art information management techniques. It is expected that these ontologies will support the sort of reasoning power required to navigate large and complex terminologies correctly and efficiently. Yet, there is one problem in particular that continues to stand in our way. As these terminological structures increase in size and complexity, and the drive to integrate them inevitably swells, it is clear that the level of consistency required for such navigation (...)
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  6. Explications vérifactionnistes.Barry Smith & Jonathan Simon - 2011 - Philosophiques 38 (1):177-194.
    Le présent article est une tentative nouvelle d’articuler le rôle d’une théorie des vérifacteurs. Nous soutenons que la théorie de la vérifaction constitue une pierre angulaire dans une bonne méthodologie en métaphysique, mais que l’amalgame entre la théorie de la vérifaction et la théorie de la vérité a été responsable de certains excès associés aux approches vérifactionnistes dans la littérature récente. Nous montrons que la théorie de la vérifaction conserve son attrait comme instrument d’investigation métaphysique, et ce, malgré notre accord (...)
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  7. Beyond avatars and arrows: Testing the mentalizing and submentalizing hypotheses with a novel entity paradigm.Evan Westra, Brandon F. Terrizzi, Simon T. van Baal, Jonathan S. Beier & John Michael - forthcoming - Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology.
    In recent years, there has been a heated debate about how to interpret findings that seem to show that humans rapidly and automatically calculate the visual perspectives of others. In the current study, we investigated the question of whether automatic interference effects found in the dot-perspective task (Samson, Apperly, Braithwaite, Andrews, & Bodley Scott, 2010) are the product of domain-specific perspective-taking processes or of domain-general “submentalizing” processes (Heyes, 2014). Previous attempts to address this question have done so by implementing inanimate (...)
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  8. Particularism, Generalism and the Counting Argument.Simon Kirchin - 2003 - European Journal of Philosophy 11 (1):54-71.
    In a recent collection of papers - Moral Particularism - some writers argue against a particularist explanation of thick ethical features, particularist in the sense developed by Jonathan Dancy. In this piece I argue that particularists can tackle what I regard as the most interesting argument put forward by these writers, an argument I call the Counting argument. My aim is twofold. First, I wish to make clear exactly what the debate between particularists and their opponents about the thick (...)
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  9. The Normativity of Logic in a Psychologistic Framework: Three Approaches.Simone Melis - 2021 - Dissertation, University of Turin
    Contemporary psychologism has been amended for most of the objections by its opponents over a century ago. However, some authors still raise doubts about its ability to account for some peculiar properties of logic. In particular, it is argued that the psychological universality of patterns of inferential behavior is not sufficient to account for the normativity of logic. In this paper, I deal with the issue and offer three alternative solutions that do not rely on mere empirical universality. I will (...)
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  10. Aesthetic Disobedience.Jonathan A. Neufeld - 2015 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 73 (2):115-125.
    This article explores a concept of artistic transgression I call aesthetic disobedience that runs parallel to the political concept of civil disobedience. Acts of civil disobedience break some law in order to publicly draw attention to and recommend the reform of a conflict between the commitments of a legal system and some shared commitments of a community. Likewise, acts of aesthetic disobedience break some entrenched artworld norm in order to publicly draw attention to and recommend the reform of a conflict (...)
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  11. A cognitive neuroscience framework for understanding causal reasoning and the law.Jonathan A. Fugelsang & Kevin N. Dunbar - 2006 - In Semir Zeki & Oliver Goodenough (eds.), Law and the Brain. Oxford University Press. pp. 157--166.
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  12. Critical Performances.Jonathan A. Neufeld - 2012 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy (3):89-104.
    Philosophers of music commonly distinguish performative from critical interpretations. I would like to suggest that the distinction between critical and performative interpretations is well captured by an analogy to legal critics and judges. This parallel draws attention to several features of performative interpretation that are typically overlooked, and deemphasizes epistemic problems with performative interpretations that I believe are typically blown out of proportion and ultimately fail to capture interesting features of performative interpretation. There is an important distinction to be made (...)
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  13. Time and Crime: Which Cold-Case Investigations Should Be Reheated.Jonathan A. Hughes & Monique Jonas - 2015 - Criminal Justice Ethics 34 (1):18-41.
    Advances in forensic techniques have expanded the temporal horizon of criminal investigations, facilitating investigation of historic crimes that would previously have been considered unsolvable. Public enthusiasm for pursuing historic crimes is exemplified by recent high-profile trials of celebrities accused of historic sexual offences. These circumstances give new urgency to the question of how we should decide which historic offences to investigate. A satisfactory answer must take into account the ways in which the passage of time can erode the benefits of (...)
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  14. Is it Possible to Care for Ecosystems? Policy Paralysis and Ecosystem Management.Robert K. Garcia & Jonathan A. Newman - 2016 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 19 (2):170-182.
    Conservationists have two types of arguments for why we should conserve ecosystems: instrumental and intrinsic value arguments. Instrumental arguments contend that we ought to conserve ecosystems because of the benefits that humans, or other morally relevant individuals, derive from ecosystems. Conservationists are often loath to rely too heavily on the instrumental argument because it could potentially force them to admit that some ecosystems are not at all useful to humans, or that if they are, they are not more useful than (...)
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  15. The Legacy of a ‘Living Library’: On the Reception of John Smith.Derek A. Michaud - 2019 - In Douglas Hedley & David Leech (eds.), Revisioning Cambridge Platonism: Sources and Legacy. Springer Verlag. pp. 241-257.
    John Smith was among the first of the Cambridge Platonists. He was therefore in a position to influence not only his contemporaries but all those who followed after him well into the twentieth century and beyond. Well established lines of influence both to and from Whichcote, Cudworth, and More are explored first before moving on to less well-known connections to Bishop Simon Patrick and mathematician Isaac Barrow. Smith’s continued significance for eighteenth century theology is demonstrated through discussion of his (...)
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  16.  81
    Change detection, attention, and the contents of awareness.Daniel J. Simons & Ronald A. Rensink - 2000 - Consciousness and Cognition 9 (2):S18 - S19.
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  17. Positing numerosities may be metaphysically extravagant; positing representation of numerosities is not.Simon A. B. Brown - 2021 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 44.
    Clarke and Beck assume that approximate number system representations should be assigned referents from our scientific ontology. However, many representations, both in perception and cognition, do not straightforwardly refer to such entities. If we reject Clarke and Beck's assumption, many possible contents for ANS representations besides number are compatible with the evidence Clarke and Beck cite.
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  18. Epistemic Courage.Jonathan Ichikawa - 2024 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Epistemic Courage is a timely and thought-provoking exploration of the ethics of belief, which shows why epistemology is no mere academic abstraction - the question of what to believe couldn't be more urgent. Jonathan Ichikawa argues that a skeptical, negative bias about belief is connected to a conservative bias that reinforces the status quo.
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  19. “But Is It Science Fiction?”: Science Fiction and a Theory of Genre.Simon J. Evnine - 2015 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 39 (1):1-28.
    If science fiction is a genre, then attempts to think about the nature of science fiction will be affected by one’s understanding of what genres are. I shall examine two approaches to genre, one dominant but inadequate, the other better, but only occasionally making itself seen. I shall then discuss several important, interrelated issues, focusing particularly on science fiction : what it is for a work to belong to a genre, the semantics of genre names, the validity of attempts to (...)
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  20. A chinese room that understands.Herbert A. Simon & Stuart A. Eisenstadt - 2003 - In John M. Preston & John Mark Bishop (eds.), Views Into the Chinese Room: New Essays on Searle and Artificial Intelligence. Oxford University Press.
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  21. Who Gets a Place in Person-Space?Simon Beck & Oritsegbubemi Oyowe - 2018 - Philosophical Papers 47 (2):183-198.
    We notice a number of interesting overlaps between the views on personhood of Ifeanyi Menkiti and Marya Schechtman. Both philosophers distance their views from the individualistic ones standard in western thought and foreground the importance of extrinsic or relational features to personhood. For Menkiti, it is ‘the community which defines the person as person’; for Schechtman, being a person is to have a place in person-space, which involves being seen as a person by others. But there are also striking differences. (...)
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  22. The Struggle for Climate Justice in a Non‐Ideal World.Simon Caney - 2016 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 40 (1):9-26.
    Many agents have failed to comply with their responsibilities to take the action needed to avoid dangerous anthropogenic climate change. This pervasive noncompliance raises two questions of nonideal political theory. First, it raises the question of what agents should do when others do not discharge their climate responsibilities. (the Responsibility Question) In this paper I put forward four principles that we need to employ to answer the Responsibility Question (Sections II-V). I then illustrate my account, by outlining four kinds of (...)
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  23. Did the Greeks Have a Concept of Recognition?Jonathan Fine - 2010 - In Thomas Kurana & Matthew Congdon (eds.), The Philosophy of Recognition. Routledge.
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  24. Change blindness: Past, present, and future. [REVIEW]Daniel J. Simons & Ronald A. Rensink - 2005 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 9 (1):16-20.
    Change blindness is the striking failure to see large changes that normally would be noticed easily. Over the past decade this phenomenon has greatly contributed to our understanding of attention, perception, and even consciousness. The surprising extent of change blindness explains its broad appeal, but its counterintuitive nature has also engendered confusions about the kinds of inferences that legitimately follow from it. Here we discuss the legitimate and the erroneous inferences that have been drawn, and offer a set of requirements (...)
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  25. Experimental Philosophy and Causal Attribution.Jonathan Livengood & David Rose - 2016 - In Justin Sytsma & Wesley Buckwalter (eds.), A Companion to Experimental Philosophy. Malden, MA: Wiley. pp. 434–449.
    Humans often attribute the things that happen to one or another actual cause. In this chapter, we survey some recent philosophical and psychological research on causal attribution. We pay special attention to the relation between graphical causal modeling and theories of causal attribution. We think that the study of causal attribution is one place where formal and experimental techniques nicely complement one another.
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  26.  73
    Democracy and the Epistemic Problems of Political Polarization.Jonathan Benson - forthcoming - American Political Science Review.
    Political polarization is one of the most discussed challenges facing contemporary democracies and is often associated with a broader epistemic crisis. While inspiring a large literature in political science, polarization’s epistemic problems also have significance for normative democratic theory, and this study develops a new approach aimed at understanding them. In contrast to prominent accounts from political psychology—group polarization theory and cultural cognition theory—which argue that polarization leads individuals to form unreliable political beliefs, this study focuses on system-level diversity. It (...)
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  27. Moral Realism, Moral Disagreement, and Moral Psychology.Simon Fitzpatrick - 2014 - Philosophical Papers 43 (2):161-190.
    This paper considers John Doris, Stephen Stich, Alexandra Plakias, and colleagues’ recent attempts to utilize empirical studies of cross-cultural variation in moral judgment to support a version of the argument from disagreement against moral realism. Crucially, Doris et al. claim that the moral disagreements highlighted by these studies are not susceptible to the standard ‘diffusing’ explanations realists have developed in response to earlier versions of the argument. I argue that plausible hypotheses about the cognitive processes underlying ordinary moral judgment and (...)
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  28. Philosophy of Psychiatry.Jonathan Y. Tsou - 2021 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    Jonathan Y. Tsou examines and defends positions on central issues in philosophy of psychiatry. The positions defended assume a naturalistic and realist perspective and are framed against skeptical perspectives on biological psychiatry. Issues addressed include the reality of mental disorders; mechanistic and disease explanations of abnormal behavior; definitions of mental disorder; natural and artificial kinds in psychiatry; biological essentialism and the projectability of psychiatric categories; looping effects and the stability of mental disorders; psychiatric classification; and the validity of the (...)
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  29. Change blindness, representations, and consciousness: Reply to Noe.Daniel J. Simons & Ronald A. Rensink - 2005 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 9 (5):219.
    Our recent opinion article [1] examined what change blindness can and cannot tell us about visual representations. Among other things, we argued that change blindness can tell us a lot about how visual representations can be used, but little about their extent. We and others found the ‘sparse representations’ view appealing (and still do), and initially made the overly strong claim that change blindness supports the conclusion of sparse representations [2,3]. We wrote our article because change blindness continues to be (...)
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  30.  75
    Two Physicalist Arguments for Microphysical Manyism.Simon Thunder - forthcoming - Erkenntnis.
    I here defend microphysical manyism. According to microphysical manyism, each composite or higher-level object is a mere plurality of microphysical particles. After clarifying the commitments of the view, I offer two physicalist-friendly arguments in its favour. The first argument appeals to the Canberra Plan. Here I argue that microphysical particles acting in unison play the theoretical roles associated with composite objects - that they do everything that we think of composite objects as doing - and thus that composite objects are (...)
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  31. Scientific Realism and Empirical Confirmation: a Puzzle.Simon Allzén - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 90:153-159.
    Scientific realism driven by inference to the best explanation (IBE) takes empirically confirmed objects to exist, independent, pace empiricism, of whether those objects are observable or not. This kind of realism, it has been claimed, does not need probabilistic reasoning to justify the claim that these objects exist. But I show that there are scientific contexts in which a non-probabilistic IBE-driven realism leads to a puzzle. Since IBE can be applied in scientific contexts in which empirical confirmation has not yet (...)
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  32. Epistemic Contextualism and the Sociality of Knowledge.Jonathan Ichikawa - 2024 - In Jennifer Lackey & Aidan McGlynn (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Social Epistemology. Oxford University Press.
    This chapter has four central aims. First, in §1, I distinguish two ideas within epistemology that sometimes travel under the name ‘contextualism’ — the ‘situational contextualist’ idea that an individual’s context, especially their social context, can make for a difference in what they know, and the ‘linguistic contextualist’ idea that discourse using the word ‘knows’ and its cognates is context-sensitive, expressing dif- ferent contents in different conversational contexts. -/- Second, in §2, I situate contextualism with respect to several influential ideas (...)
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  33.  19
    Environmental law & the limits of markets.Jonathan Benson - 2018 - Cambridge Journal of Economics 42 (1):215–230.
    A number of writers have drawn on Hayek’s epistemic defence of market institutions to argue that free-markets and tort law are best placed to overcome the knowledge problems associated with the environmental sphere. This paper argues to the contrary, that this Austrian School approach itself suffers from significant knowledge problems. The first of these relates to the ability of Austrian economics to assign victim compensation and the second to the difficulty of establishing causation in complex environmental problems. The paper will (...)
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  34. Justice beyond borders: a global political theory.Simon Caney - 2005 - New York: Oxford University Press.
    Which political principles should govern global politics? In his new book, Simon Caney engages with the work of philosophers, political theorists, and international relations scholars in order to examine some of the most pressing global issues of our time. Are there universal civil, political, and economic human rights? Should there be a system of supra- state institutions? Can humanitarian intervention be justified?
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  35. Silencing, Epistemic Injustice, and Epistemic Paternalism.Jonathan Matheson & Valerie Joly Chock - 2020 - In Amiel Bernal & Guy Axtell (eds.), Epistemic Paternalism Reconsidered: Conceptions, Justifications and Implications. Lanham, Md: Rowman & LIttlefield.
    Members of oppressed groups are often silenced. One form of silencing is what Kristie Dotson calls “testimonial smothering”. Testimonial smothering occurs when a speaker limits her testimony in virtue of the reasonable risk of it being misunderstood or misapplied by the audience. Testimonial smothering is thus a form of epistemic paternalism since the speaker is interfering with the audience’s inquiry for their benefit without first consulting them. In this paper, we explore the connections between epistemic injustice and epistemic paternalism through (...)
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  36. Beauty Before the Eyes of Others.Jonathan Fine - 2016 - In Fabian Dorsch & Dan-Eugen Ratiu (eds.), Proceedings of the European Society for Aesthetics. University of Fribourg. pp. 164-176.
    This paper pursues the philosophical significance of a relatively unexplored point of Platonic aesthetics: the social dimension of beauty. The social dimension of beauty resides in its conceptual connection to shame and honour. This dimension of beauty is fundamental to the aesthetic education of the Republic, as becoming virtuous for Plato presupposes a desire to appear and to be admired as beautiful. The ethical significance of beauty, shame, and honour redound to an ethically rich notion of appearing before others which (...)
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  37. Unlimited Associative Learning and the Origins of Consciousness: A Primer and Some Predictions.Jonathan Birch, Simona Ginsburg & Eva Jablonka - 2020 - Biology and Philosophy 35 (6):1-23.
    Over the past two decades, Ginsburg and Jablonka have developed a novel approach to studying the evolutionary origins of consciousness: the Unlimited Associative Learning framework. The central idea is that there is a distinctive type of learning that can serve as a transition marker for the evolutionary transition from non-conscious to conscious life. The goal of this paper is to stimulate discussion of the framework by providing a primer on its key claims and a clear statement of its main empirical (...)
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  38. The Significance of Radical Interpretation for Understanding the Mind.Jonathan Ellis - 2011 - In J. Malpas (ed.), The Hermeneutic Davidson. MIT Press.
    In Davidson's philosophy, one finds a wide variety of rich, provocative, and influential arguments concerning the nature of the mind—that mental states emerge only in the context of interpretation, that belief is "in its nature" veridical, that mental events are physical events, and so on. Most, if not all, of Davidson's conclusions about the mind have their source in discussions about the project of "radical interpretation." They rely upon arguments concerning the conditions on the successful interpretation of a speaker by (...)
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  39. Value and Idiosyncratic Fitting Attitudes.Conor McHugh & Jonathan Way - 2023 - In Chris Howard & R. A. Rowland (eds.), Fittingness. OUP.
    Norm-attitude accounts of value say that for something to be valuable is for there to be norms that support valuing that thing. For example, according to fitting-attitude accounts, something is of value if it is fitting to value, and according to buck-passing accounts, something is of value if the reasons support valuing it. Norm-attitude accounts face the partiality problem: in cases of partiality, what it is fitting to value, and what the reasons support valuing, may not line up with what’s (...)
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  40. Commentary. Beauvoir and Sartre: The Problem of the Other; corrected Notes.Edward Fullbrook & Margaret A. Simons - 2009 - In An Unconventional History of Western Philosophy. pp. 509-523.
    Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre struggled for the whole of their philosophical careers against one of modern Western philosophy's most pervasive concepts, the Cartesian notion of self. A notion of self is always a complex of ideas; in the case of Beauvoir and Sartre it includes the ideas of embodiment, temporality, the Other, and intersubjectivity. This essay will show the considerable part that gender, especially Beauvoir's position as a woman in twentieth-century France, played in the development, presentation and reception (...)
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  41. The Search for Invertebrate Consciousness.Jonathan Birch - 2022 - Noûs 56 (1):133-153.
    There is no agreement on whether any invertebrates are conscious and no agreement on a methodology that could settle the issue. How can the debate move forward? I distinguish three broad types of approach: theory-heavy, theory-neutral and theory-light. Theory-heavy and theory-neutral approaches face serious problems, motivating a middle path: the theory-light approach. At the core of the theory-light approach is a minimal commitment about the relation between phenomenal consciousness and cognition that is compatible with many specific theories of consciousness: the (...)
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  42. Fitting Inconsistency and Reasonable Irresolution.Simon D. Feldman & Allan Hazlett - 2020 - In Berit Brogaard & Dimitria Electra Gatzia (eds.), The Philosophy and Psychology of Ambivalence: Being of Two Minds. New York, NY: Routledge.
    The badness of having conflicting emotions is a familiar theme in academic ethics, clinical psychology, and commercial self-help, where emotional harmony is often put forward as an ideal. Many philosophers give emotional harmony pride of place in their theories of practical reason.1 Here we offer a defense of a particular species of emotional conflict, namely, ambivalence. We articulate an conception of ambivalence, on which ambivalence is unresolved inconsistent desire (§1) and present a case of appropriate ambivalence (§2), before considering two (...)
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  43.  28
    Knowledge and Communication in Democratic Politics: Markets, Forums and Systems.Jonathan Benson - 2019 - Political Studies 67 (2):422-439.
    Epistemic questions have become an important area of debate within democratic theory. Epistemic democrats have revived epistemic justification of democracy, while social scientific research has speared a significant debate on voter knowledge. An area which has received less attention, however, is the epistemic case for markets. Market advocates have developed a number of epistemic critiques of democracy which suggest that most goods are better provided by markets than democratic institutions. Despite representing important challenges to democracy, these critiques have gone without (...)
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  44. Knowledge before belief.Jonathan Phillips, Wesley Buckwalter, Fiery Cushman, Ori Friedman, Alia Martin, John Turri, Laurie Santos & Joshua Knobe - 2021 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 44:e140.
    Research on the capacity to understand others' minds has tended to focus on representations ofbeliefs,which are widely taken to be among the most central and basic theory of mind representations. Representations ofknowledge, by contrast, have received comparatively little attention and have often been understood as depending on prior representations of belief. After all, how could one represent someone as knowing something if one does not even represent them as believing it? Drawing on a wide range of methods across cognitive science, (...)
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  45. Dimensions of Animal Consciousness.Jonathan Birch, Alexandra K. Schnell & Nicola S. Clayton - 2020 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 24 (10):789-801.
    How does consciousness vary across the animal kingdom? Are some animals ‘more conscious’ than others? This article presents a multidimensional framework for understanding interspecies variation in states of consciousness. The framework distinguishes five key dimensions of variation: perceptual richness, evaluative richness, integration at a time, integration across time, and self-consciousness. For each dimension, existing experiments that bear on it are reviewed and future experiments are suggested. By assessing a given species against each dimension, we can construct a consciousness profile for (...)
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  46. The Philosophy of Social Evolution.Jonathan Birch - 2017 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    From mitochondria to meerkats, the natural world is full of spectacular examples of social behaviour. In the early 1960s W. D. Hamilton changed the way we think about how such behaviour evolves. He introduced three key innovations - now known as Hamilton's rule, kin selection, and inclusive fitness - and his pioneering work kick-started a research program now known as social evolution theory. This is a book about the philosophical foundations and future prospects of that program. [Note: only the Introduction (...)
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  47. Materialism and the Moral Status of Animals.Jonathan Birch - 2022 - Philosophical Quarterly 72 (4):795-815.
    Consciousness has an important role in ethics: when a being consciously experiences the frustration or satisfaction of its interests, those interests deserve higher moral priority than those of a behaviourally similar but non-conscious being. I consider the relationship between this ethical role and an a posteriori (or “type-B”) materialist solution to the mind-body problem. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that, if type-B materialism is correct, then the reference of the concept of phenomenal consciousness is radically indeterminate between a (...)
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  48. Dispositions, Mereology and Panpsychism: The Case for Phenomenal Properties.Simone Gozzano - 2023 - In Christopher J. Austin, Anna Marmodoro & Andrea Roselli (eds.), Powers, Parts, and Wholes. New York, NY: Routledge. pp. 227 - 242.
    My interest in this chapter is to investigate this crossroad as applied to mental properties, considered powers. In particular, I scrutinize the possibility of taking the phenomenal property of feeling pain as a complex power or disposition. This possibility comes in handy in discussing panpsychism, the view that the ultimate elements of reality are phenomenal properties, which would ground physical properties as well.
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  49. Animal Sentience and the Precautionary Principle.Jonathan Birch - 2017 - Animal Sentience 2:16(1).
    In debates about animal sentience, the precautionary principle is often invoked. The idea is that when the evidence of sentience is inconclusive, we should “give the animal the benefit of the doubt” or “err on the side of caution” in formulating animal protection legislation. Yet there remains confusion as to whether it is appropriate to apply the precautionary principle in this context, and, if so, what “applying the precautionary principle” means in practice regarding the burden of proof for animal sentience. (...)
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  50. Toolmaking and the Evolution of Normative Cognition.Jonathan Birch - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (1):1-26.
    We are all guided by thousands of norms, but how did our capacity for normative cognition evolve? I propose there is a deep but neglected link between normative cognition and practical skill. In modern humans, complex motor skills and craft skills, such as toolmaking, are guided by internally represented norms of correct performance. Moreover, it is plausible that core components of human normative cognition evolved as a solution to the distinctive problems of transmitting complex motor skills and craft skills, especially (...)
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