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Murat Aydede
University of British Columbia
  1. Is the Experience of Pain Transparent? Introspecting Phenomenal Qualities.Murat Aydede - 2019 - Synthese 196 (2):677-708.
    I distinguish between two claims of transparency of experiences. One claim is weaker and supported by phenomenological evidence. This I call the transparency datum. Introspection of standard perceptual experiences as well as bodily sensations is consistent with, indeed supported by, the transparency datum. I formulate a stronger transparency thesis that is entailed by representationalism about experiential phenomenology. I point out some empirical consequences of strong transparency in the context of representationalism. I argue that pain experiences, as well as some other (...)
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  2. Reasons and Theories of Sensory Affect.Murat Aydede & Matthew Fulkerson - 2019 - In David Bain, Michael Brady & Jennifer Corns (eds.), The Philosophy of Pain: Unpleasantness, Emotion, and Deviance. New York, USA: Routledge. pp. 27-59.
    Some sensory experiences are pleasant, some unpleasant. This is a truism. But understanding what makes these experiences pleasant and unpleasant is not an easy job. Various difficulties and puzzles arise as soon as we start theorizing. There are various philosophical theories on offer that seem to give different accounts for the positive or negative affective valences of sensory experiences. In this paper, we will look at the current state of art in the philosophy of mind, present the main contenders, critically (...)
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  3. How to Unify Theories of Sensory Pleasure: An Adverbialist Proposal.Murat Aydede - 2014 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 5 (1):119-133.
    A lot of qualitatively very different sensations can be pleasant or unpleasant. The Felt-Quality Views that conceive of sensory affect as having an introspectively available common phenomenology or qualitative character face the “heterogeneity problem” of specifying what that qualitative common phenomenology is. In contrast, according to the Attitudinal Views, what is common to all pleasant or unpleasant sensations is that they are all “wanted” or “unwanted” in a certain sort of way. The commonality is explained not on the basis of (...)
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  4. A Contemporary Account of Sensory Pleasure.Murat Aydede - 2018 - In Lisa Shapiro (ed.), Pleasure: A History. New York, USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 239-266.
    [This is the penultimate version, please send me an email for the final version]. Some sensations are pleasant, some unpleasant, and some are neither. Furthermore, those that are pleasant or unpleasant are so to different degrees. In this essay, I want to explore what kind of a difference is the difference between these three kinds of sensations. I will develop a comprehensive three-level account of sensory pleasure that is simultaneously adverbialist, functionalist and is also a version of a satisfied experiential-desire (...)
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  5. Is Feeling Pain the Perception of Something?Murat Aydede - 2009 - Journal of Philosophy 106 (10):531-567.
    According to the increasingly popular perceptual/representational accounts of pain (and other bodily sensations such as itches, tickles, orgasms, etc.), feeling pain in a body region is perceiving a non-mental property or some objective condition of that region, typically equated with some sort of (actual or potential) tissue damage. In what follows I argue that given a natural understanding of what sensory perception requires and how it is integrated with (dedicated) conceptual systems, these accounts are mistaken. I will also examine the (...)
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  6.  70
    A Short Primer on Situated Cognition.Philip Robbins & Murat Aydede - 2009 - In Murat Aydede & P. Robbins (eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Situated Cognition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 3--10.
    Introductory Chapter to the _Cambridge Handbook of Situated Cognition_ (CUP, 2019).
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  7. Pain: Perception or Introspection?Murat Aydede - 2017 - In Jennifer Corns (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Pain. Routledge.
    [Penultimate draft] I present the perceptualist/representationalist theories of pain in broad outline and critically examine them in light of a competing view according to which awareness of pain is essentially introspective. I end the essay with a positive sketch of a naturalistic proposal according to which pain experiences are intentional but not fully representational. This proposal makes sense of locating pains in body parts as well as taking pains as subjective experiences.
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  8. Concepts, Introspection, and Phenomenal Consciousness: An Information-Theoretical Approach.Murat Aydede & Guven Guzeldere - 2005 - Noûs 39 (2):197-255.
    This essay is a sustained attempt to bring new light to some of the perennial problems in philosophy of mind surrounding phenomenal consciousness and introspection through developing an account of sensory and phenomenal concepts. Building on the information-theoretic framework of Dretske (1981), we present an informational psychosemantics as it applies to what we call sensory concepts, concepts that apply, roughly, to so-called secondary qualities of objects. We show that these concepts have a special informational character and semantic structure that closely (...)
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  9. Affect: Representationalists' Headache.Murat Aydede & Matthew Fulkerson - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 170 (2):175-198.
    Representationalism is the view that the phenomenal character of experiences is identical to their representational content of a certain sort. This view requires a strong transparency condition on phenomenally conscious experiences. We argue that affective qualities such as experienced pleasantness or unpleasantness are counter-examples to the transparency thesis and thus to the sort of representationalism that implies it.
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  10. The Language of Thought Hypothesis.Murat Aydede - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    A comprehensive introduction to the Language of Though Hypothesis (LOTH) accessible to general audiences. LOTH is an empirical thesis about thought and thinking. For their explication, it postulates a physically realized system of representations that have a combinatorial syntax (and semantics) such that operations on representations are causally sensitive only to the syntactic properties of representations. According to LOTH, thought is, roughly, the tokening of a representation that has a syntactic (constituent) structure with an appropriate semantics. Thinking thus consists in (...)
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  11. Fodor on Concepts and Frege Puzzles.Murat Aydede - 1998 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 79 (4):289-294.
    ABSTRACT. Fodor characterizes concepts as consisting of two dimensions: one is content, which is purely denotational/broad, the other the Mentalese vehicle bearing that content, which Fodor calls the Mode of Presentation (MOP), understood "syntactically." I argue that, so understood, concepts are not interpersonally sharable; so Fodor's own account violates what he calls the Publicity Constraint in his (1998) book. Furthermore, I argue that Fodor's non-semantic, or "syntactic," solution to Frege cases succumbs to the problem of providing interpersonally applicable functional roles (...)
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  12. Language of Thought: The Connectionist Contribution.Murat Aydede - 1997 - Minds and Machines 7 (1):57-101.
    Fodor and Pylyshyn's critique of connectionism has posed a challenge to connectionists: Adequately explain such nomological regularities as systematicity and productivity without postulating a "language of thought" (LOT). Some connectionists like Smolensky took the challenge very seriously, and attempted to meet it by developing models that were supposed to be non-classical. At the core of these attempts lies the claim that connectionist models can provide a representational system with a combinatorial syntax and processes sensitive to syntactic structure. They are not (...)
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  13. Are Frege Cases Exceptions to Intentional Generalizations?Murat Aydede & Philip Robbins - 2001 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 31 (1):1-22.
    This piece criticizes Fodor's argument (in The Elm and the Expert, 1994) for the claim that Frege cases should be treated as exceptions to (broad) psychological generalizations rather than as counterexamples.
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  14. Is Introspection Inferential?Murat Aydede - 2003 - In Brie Gertler (ed.), Privileged Access: Philosophical Accounts of Self-Knowledge. Ashgate.
    I introduce the Displaced Perception Model of Introspection developed by Dretske which treats introspection of phenomenal states as inferential and criticize it.
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  15. On the Type/Token Relation of Mental Representations.Murat Aydede - 2000 - Facta Philosophica 2 (1):23-50.
    According to the Computational/Representational Theory of Thought (CRTT ? Language of Thought Hypothesis, or LOTH), propositional attitudes, such as belief, desire, and the like, are triadic relations among subjects, propositions, and internal mental representations. These representations form a representational _system_ physically realized in the brain of sufficiently sophisticated cognitive organisms. Further, this system of representations has a combinatorial syntax and semantics, but the processes that operate on the representations are causally sensitive only to their syntax, not to their semantics. On (...)
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  16. The Experimental Use of Introspection in the Scientific Study of Pain and its Integration with Third-Person Methodologies: The Experiential-Phenomenological Approach.Murat Aydede & Donald D. Price - 2005 - In Pain: New Essays on its Nature and the Methodology of its Study. MIT Press. pp. 243--273.
    Understanding the nature of pain depends, at least partly, on recognizing its subjectivity (thus, its first-person epistemology). This in turn requires using a first-person experiential method in addition to third-person experimental approaches to study it. This paper is an attempt to spell out what the former approach is and how it can be integrated with the latter. We start our discussion by examining some foundational issues raised by the use of introspection. We argue that such a first-person method in the (...)
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  17. Has Fodor Really Changed His Mind on Narrow Content?Murat Aydede - 1997 - Mind and Language 12 (3-4):422-458.
    In his latest book, The Elm and the Expert (1994), Fodor notoriously rejects the notion of narrow content as superfluous. He envisions a scientific intentional psychology that adverts only to broad content properties in its explanations. I argue that Fodor's change in view is only apparent and that his previous position (1985-1991) is extensionally equivalent to his "new" position (1994). I show that, despite what he says narrow content is for in his (1994), Fodor himself has previously never appealed to (...)
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  18. Some Foundational Problems in the Scientific Study of Pain.Murat Aydede & Güven Güzeldere - 2002 - Philosophy of Science Supplement 69 (3):265-83.
    This paper is an attempt to spell out what makes the scientific study of pain so distinctive from a philosophical perspective. Using the IASP definition of ‘pain’ as our guide, we raise a number of questions about the philosophical assumptions underlying the scientific study of pain. We argue that unlike the study of ordinary perception, the study of pain focuses from the very start on the experience itself and its qualities, without making deep assumptions about whether pain experiences are perceptual. (...)
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  19. Computation and Functionalism: Syntactic Theory of Mind Revisited.Murat Aydede - 2005 - In Gurol Irzik & Guven Guzeldere (eds.), Boston Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science. Springer.
    I argue that Stich's Syntactic Theory of Mind (STM) and a naturalistic narrow content functionalism run on a Language of Though story have the same exact structure. I elaborate on the argument that narrow content functionalism is either irremediably holistic in a rather destructive sense, or else doesn't have the resources for individuating contents interpersonally. So I show that, contrary to his own advertisement, Stich's STM has exactly the same problems (like holism, vagueness, observer-relativity, etc.) that he claims plague content-based (...)
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  20. Consciousness, Conceivability Arguments, and Perspectivalism: The Dialectics of the Debate.Murat Aydede & Guven Guzeldere - 2001 - Communication and Cognition: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly Journal 34 (1-2):99-122.
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  21. Consciousness, Intentionality, and Intelligence: Some Foundational Issues for Artificial Intelligence.Murat Aydede & Guven Guzeldere - 2000 - Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Artificial Intelligence 12 (3):263-277.
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  22. Aristotle on Episteme and Nous: The Posterior Analytics.Murat Aydede - 1998 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 36 (1):15-46.
    According to the standard and largely traditional interpretation, Aristotle’s conception of nous, at least as it occurs in the Posterior Analytics, is geared against a certain set of skeptical worries about the possibility of scientific knowledge, and ultimately of the knowledge of Aristotelian first principles. On this view, Aristotle introduces nous as an intuitive faculty that grasps the first principles once and for all as true in such a way that it does not leave any room for the skeptic to (...)
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  23. Language of Thought Hypothesis: State of the Art.Murat Aydede - manuscript
    [This is an earlier, much longer and more detailed version of my entry on LOTH in the _Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy_] The Language of Thought Hypothesis (LOTH) is an empirical thesis about thought and thinking. For their explication, it postulates a physically realized system of representations that have a combinatorial syntax (and semantics) such that operations on representations are causally sensitive only to the syntactic properties of representations. According to LOTH, thought is, roughly, the tokening of a representation that has (...)
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  24. Are Phenomenal Zombies Really Conceivable?Murat Aydede - manuscript
    I argue that if we have a rich enough description of perceptual experiences from an information-theoretic viewpoint, it becomes surprisingly difficult (to put it mildly) to positively conceive philosophical zombies (as complete physical/functional duplicates that lack phenomenal consciousness). Hence, it is at best an open question whether zombies are positively conceivable. My argument requires paying close attention to the direct relation between phenomenology and information.
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  25. Does the IASP Definition of Pain Need Updating?Murat Aydede - 2019 - PAIN Reports 4 (5 - e777):1-7.
    The current IASP definition of pain has come under renewed criticisms recently. There is a new momentum for its revision as reflected by the fact that IASP has now a Presidential Task Force dedicated to look into whether there is enough warrant to update the definition. I critically review all the major criticisms of the current definition in detail, and raise new difficulties rarely discussed before. I show that none of the major criticisms has enough warrant to force us to (...)
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  26.  62
    Pain and Pleasure.Murat Aydede - forthcoming - In Andrea Scranantino (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Emotion Theory. Routledge.
    [Penultimate draft] This is a piece written for interdisciplinary audiences and contains very little philosophy. It looks into whether, or in what sense, pains and pleasures are emotions.
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  27.  63
    Pure Informational Semantics and the Narrow/Broad Dichotomy.Murat Aydede - 1997 - In Dunja Jutronic (ed.), The Maribor Papers in Naturalized Semantics. Maribor. pp. 157.
    The influence of historical-causal theories of reference developed in the late sixties and early seventies by Donnellan, Kripke, Putnam and Devitt has been so strong that any semantic theory that has the consequence of assigning disjunctive representational content to the mental states of twins (e.g. [H2O or XYZ]) has been thereby taken to refute itself. Similarly, despite the strength of pre-theoretical intuitions that exact physical replicas like Davidson's Swampman have representational mental states, people have routinely denied that they have any (...)
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  28.  50
    Sensory Versus Core Affect.Murat Aydede - manuscript
    This is the text of an invited talk exploring the connections between two apparently distinct notions of affect, sensory versus core affect. It is basically a progress report. It is exploratory and tentative. It starts from a mild puzzle about the apparent mismatch between the notion of affect that affective neuroscientists generally deploy and the notion of affect that emotion psychologists deploy. The notion favored by psychologists is the notion of core affect. The phenomenon studied by affective neuroscientists is usually (...)
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  29. What is a Pain in a Body Part?Murat Aydede - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (2):143–158.
    The IASP definition of 'pain' defines pain as a subjective experience. The Note accompanying the definition emphasizes that as such pains are not to be identified with objective conditions of body parts (such as actual or potential tissue damage). Nevertheless, it goes on to state that a pain "is unquestionably a sensation in a part or parts of the body, but it is also always unpleasant and therefore also an emotional experience." This generates a puzzle that philosophers have been well (...)
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