Results for 'Ned Hall'

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Ned Hall
Harvard University
  1. Humean Reductionism About Laws of Nature.Ned Hall - 2009
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  2. Brutal Composition.Ned Markosian - 1998 - Philosophical Studies 92 (3):211 - 249.
    According to standard, pre-philosophical intuitions, there are many composite objects in the physical universe. There is, for example, my bicycle, which is composed of various parts - wheels, handlebars, molecules, atoms, etc. Recently, a growing body of philosophical literature has concerned itself with questions about the nature of composition.1 The main question that has been raised about composition is, roughly, this: Under what circumstances do some things compose, or add up to, or form, a single object? It turns out that (...)
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  3. A Defense of Presentism.Ned Markosian - 2004 - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 1:47-82.
    ∗ Apologies to Mark Hinchliff for stealing the title of his dissertation. (See Hinchliff, A Defense of Presentism. As it turns out, however, the version of Presentism defended here is different from the version defended by Hinchliff. See Section 3.1 below.).
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  4. A Spatial Approach to Mereology.Ned Markosian - 2014 - In Shieva Keinschmidt (ed.), Mereology and Location. Oxford University Press.
    When do several objects compose a further object? The last twenty years have seen a great deal of discussion of this question. According to the most popular view on the market, there is a physical object composed of your brain and Jeremy Bentham’s body. According to the second-most popular view on the market, there are no such objects as human brains or human bodies, and there are also no atoms, rocks, tables, or stars. And according to the third-ranked view, there (...)
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  5. Restricted Composition.Ned Markosian - 2008 - In Theodore Sider, John Hawthorne & Dean W. Zimmerman (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Metaphysics. Blackwell. pp. 341--63.
    Let’s begin with a simple example. Consider two quarks: one near the tip of your nose, the other near the center of Alpha Centauri. Here is a question about these two subatomic particles: Is there an object that has these two quarks as its parts and that has no other parts? According to one view of the matter (a view that is surprisingly endorsed by a great many contemporary philosophers), the answer to this question is Yes. But I think it (...)
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  6. Simples.Ned Markosian - 1998 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 76 (2):213 – 228.
    Since the publication of Peter van Inwagen's book, Material Beings,1 there has been a growing body of philosophical literature on the topic of composition. The main question addressed in both van Inwagen's book and subsequent discussions of the topic is a question that van Inwagen calls "the Special Composition Question." The Special Composition Question is, roughly, the question Under what circumstances do several things compose, or add up to, or form, a single object? For the purposes of formulating a more (...)
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  7. Agent Causation as the Solution to All the Compatibilist’s Problems.Ned Markosian - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 157 (3):383-398.
    In a recent paper I argued that agent causation theorists should be compatibilists. In this paper, I argue that compatibilists should be agent causation theorists. I consider six of the main problems facing compatibilism: (i) the powerful intuition that one can't be responsible for actions that were somehow determined before one was born; (ii) Peter van Inwagen's modal argument, involving the inference rule (β); (iii) the objection to compatibilism that is based on claiming that the ability to do otherwise is (...)
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  8. Sideways Music.Ned Markosian - 2019 - Analysis (1):anz039.
    There is a popular theory in the metaphysics of time according to which time is one of four similar dimensions that make up a single manifold that is appropriately called spacetime. One consequence of this thesis is that changing an object’s orientation in the manifold does not change its intrinsic features. In this paper I offer a new argument against this popular theory. I claim that an especially good performance of a particularly beautiful piece of music, when oriented within the (...)
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  9. A Compatibilist Version of the Theory of Agent Causation.Ned Markosian - 1999 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 80 (3):257-277.
    The problem of freedom and determinism has vexed philosophers for several millennia, and continues to be a topic of lively debate today. One of the proposed solutions to the problem that has received a great deal of attention is the Theory of Agent Causation. While the theory has enjoyed its share of advocates, and perhaps more than its share of critics, the theory’s advocates and critics have always agreed on one thing: the Theory of Agent Causation is an incompatibilist theory. (...)
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  10. How Fast Does Time Pass?Ned Markosian - 1993 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 53 (4):829-844.
    I believe that time passes. In the last one hundred years or so, many philosophers have rejected this view. Those who have done so have generally been motivated by at least one of three different arguments: (i) McTaggart's argument, (ii) an argument from the theory of relativity, and (iii) an argument concerning the alleged incoherence of talk about the rate of the passage of time. There has been a great deal of literature on McTaggart's argument (although no concensus has been (...)
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  11. Simples, Stuff, and Simple People.Ned Markosian - 2004 - The Monist 87 (3):405-428.
    Here is a question about mereological simples that I raised in a recent paper.
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  12. The Right Stuff.Ned Markosian - 2015 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (4):665-687.
    This paper argues for including stuff in one's ontology. The distinction between things and stuff is first clarified, and then three different ontologies of the physical universe are spelled out: a pure thing ontology, a pure stuff ontology, and a mixed ontology of both things and stuff. Eleven different reasons for including stuff in one's ontology are given. Then five objections to positing stuff are considered and rejected.
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  13. Perceptual Consciousness Overflows Cognitive Access.Ned Block - 2011 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 15 (12):567-575.
    One of the most important issues concerning the foundations ofconscious perception centerson thequestion of whether perceptual consciousness is rich or sparse. The overflow argument uses a form of ‘iconic memory’ toarguethatperceptual consciousnessisricher (i.e.,has a higher capacity) than cognitive access: when observing a complex scene we are conscious of more than we can report or think about. Recently, the overflow argumenthas been challenged both empirically and conceptually. This paper reviews the controversy, arguing that proponents of sparse perception are committed to the (...)
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  14. Seeing‐As in the Light of Vision Science.Ned Block - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (1):560-572.
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  15. The Truth About the Past and the Future.Ned Markosian - 2013 - In Fabrice Correia & Andrea Iacona (eds.), Around the Tree: Semantic and Metaphysical Issues Concerning Branching Time and the Open Future. Springer. pp. 127-141.
    This paper is about The Truthmaker Problem for Presentism. I spell out a solution to the problem that involves appealing to indeterministic laws of nature and branching semantics for past- and future-tensed sentences. Then I discuss a potential glitch for this solution, and propose a way to get around that glitch. Finally, I consider some likely objections to the view offered here, as well as replies to those objections.
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  16. High-Level Explanation and the Interventionist’s ‘Variables Problem’.L. R. Franklin-Hall - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (2):553-577.
    The interventionist account of causal explanation, in the version presented by Jim Woodward, has been recently claimed capable of buttressing the widely felt—though poorly understood—hunch that high-level, relatively abstract explanations, of the sort provided by sciences like biology, psychology and economics, are in some cases explanatorily optimal. It is the aim of this paper to show that this is mistaken. Due to a lack of effective constraints on the causal variables at the heart of the interventionist causal-explanatory scheme, as presently (...)
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  17. Monty Hall, Doomsday and Confirmation.Darren Bradley & Branden Fitelson - 2003 - Analysis 63 (1):23–31.
    We give an analysis of the Monty Hall problem purely in terms of confirmation, without making any lottery assumptions about priors. Along the way, we show the Monty Hall problem is structurally identical to the Doomsday Argument.
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  18. Rich Conscious Perception Outside Focal Attention.Ned Block - 2014 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 18 (9):445-447.
    Can we consciously see more items at once than can be held in visual working memory? This question has elud- ed resolution because the ultimate evidence is subjects’ reports in which phenomenal consciousness is filtered through working memory. However, a new technique makes use of the fact that unattended ‘ensemble prop- erties’ can be detected ‘for free’ without decreasing working memory capacity.
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  19. What Are Physical Objects?Ned Markosian - 2000 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 61 (2):375-395.
    The concept of a physical object has figured prominently in the history of philosophy, and is probably more important now than it has ever been before. Yet the question What are physical objects?, i.e., What is the correct analysis of the concept of a physical object?, has received surprisingly little attention. The purpose of this paper is to address this question. I consider several attempts at answering the question, and give my reasons for preferring one of them over its rivals. (...)
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  20. Against Ontological Fundamentalism.Ned Markosian - 2005 - Facta Philosophica 7 (1):69-83.
    Suppose you are asked to be the substitute teacher for a high school physics class. Suppose part of your assignment is to explain to the students all about the subatomic structure of a typical macroscopic object, such as a wooden table. Here is a speech that you are likely to find yourself making at some point during your lesson.
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  21. What is Functionalism?Ned Block - 1996 - In Donald M. Borchert (ed.), [Book Chapter]. MacMillan.
    What is Functionalism? Functionalism is one of the major proposals that have been offered as solutions to the mind/body problem. Solutions to the mind/body problem usually try to answer questions such as: What is the ultimate nature of the mental? At the most general level, what makes a mental state mental? Or more specifically, What do thoughts have in common in virtue of which they are thoughts? That is, what makes a thought a thought? What makes a pain a pain? (...)
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  22. Consciousness and Accessibility.Ned Block - 1990 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 13 (4):596-598.
    This is my first publication of the distinction between phenomenal consciousness and access consciousness, though not using quite those terms. It ends with this: "The upshot is this: If Searle is using the access sense of "consciousness," his argument doesn't get to first base. If, as is more likely, he intends the what-it-is-like sense, his argument depends on assumptions about issues that the cognitivist is bound to regard as deeply unsettled empirical questions." Searle replies: "He refers to what he calls (...)
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  23. What Is Wrong with the No-Report Paradigm and How to Fix It.Ned Block - 2019 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 23 (12):1003-1013.
    Is consciousness based in prefrontal circuits involved in cognitive processes like thought, reasoning, and memory or, alternatively, is it based in sensory areas in the back of the neocortex? The no-report paradigm has been crucial to this debate because it aims to separate the neural basis of the cognitive processes underlying post-perceptual decision and report from the neural basis of conscious perception itself. However, the no-report paradigm is problematic because, even in the absence of report, subjects might engage in post-perceptual (...)
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  24. The 3d/4d Controversy and Non-Present Objects.Ned Markosian - 1994 - Philosophical Papers 23 (3):243-249.
    Worlds, Lewis says this: Let us say that something persists iff, somehow or other, it exists at various times; this is the neutral word. Something perdures iff it persists by having different temporal parts, or stages, at different times, though no one part of it is wholly present at more than one time; whereas it endures iff it persists by being wholly present at more than one time. Perdurance corresponds to the way a road persists through space; part of it (...)
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  25. The Open Past.Ned Markosian - 1995 - Philosophical Studies 79 (1):95 - 105.
    This paper is about the open future response to fatalistic arguments. I first present a typical fatalistic argument and then spell out the open future response as a response to that argument. Then I raise the question of how the open future response can be independently justified. I consider some possible ways in which the response might be defended, and I try to show that none of these is a plausible, non-question-begging defense. Next I formulate what I take to be (...)
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  26. The Grain of Vision and the Grain of Attention.Ned Block - 2012 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 1 (3):170-184.
    Often when there is no attention to an object, there is no conscious perception of it either, leading some to conclude that conscious perception is an attentional phenomenon. There is a well-known perceptual phenomenon—visuo-spatial crowding, in which objects are too closely packed for attention to single out one of them. This article argues that there is a variant of crowding—what I call ‘‘identity-crowding’’—in which one can consciously see a thing despite failure of attention to it. This conclusion, together with new (...)
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  27. Natural Kinds as Categorical Bottlenecks.Laura Franklin-Hall - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (4):925-948.
    Both realist and anti-realist accounts of natural kinds possess prima facie virtues: realists can straightforwardly make sense of the apparent objectivity of the natural kinds, and anti-realists, their knowability. This paper formulates a properly anti-realist account designed to capture both merits. In particular, it recommends understanding natural kinds as ‘categorical bottlenecks,’ those categories that not only best serve us, with our idiosyncratic aims and cognitive capacities, but also those of a wide range of alternative agents. By endorsing an ultimately subjective (...)
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  28. Two Arguments From Sider’s Four-Dimensionalism. [REVIEW]Ned Markosian - 2004 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 68 (3):665–673.
    In this essay for a PPR book symposium on Theodore Sider's _Four-Dimensionalism<D>, I focus on two of Sider's arguments for four-dimensionalism: (i) his argument from vagueness, and (ii) his argument from time travel. Concerning (i), I first show that Sider's argument commits him to certain strange consequences that many four-dimensionalists may not endorse, and then I discuss an objection that involves appealing to 'brutal composition', the view that there is no informative answer to Peter van Inwagen's 'special composition question'. Concerning (...)
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  29. Do Causal Powers Drain Away.Ned Block - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (1):133-150.
    In this note, I will discuss one issue concerning the main argument of Mind in a Physical World (Kim, 1998), the Causal Exclusion Argument. The issue is whether it is a consequence of the Causal Exclusion Argument that all macro level causation (that is, causation above the level of fundamental physics) is an illusion, with all of the apparent causal powers of mental and other macro properties draining into the bottom level of physics. I will argue that such a consequence (...)
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  30. New Mechanistic Explanation and the Need for Explanatory Constraints.L. R. Franklin-Hall - 2016 - In Ken Aizawa & Carl Gillett (eds.), Scientific Composition and Metaphysical Ground. Palgrave. pp. 41-74.
    This paper critiques the new mechanistic explanatory program on grounds that, even when applied to the kinds of examples that it was originally designed to treat, it does not distinguish correct explanations from those that blunder. First, I offer a systematization of the explanatory account, one according to which explanations are mechanistic models that satisfy three desiderata: they must 1) represent causal relations, 2) describe the proper parts, and 3) depict the system at the right ‘level.’ Second, I argue that (...)
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  31. If Perception is Probabilistic, Why Doesn't It Seem Probabilistic?Ned Block - 2018 - Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 373 (1755).
    The success of the Bayesian approach to perception suggests probabilistic perceptual representations. But if perceptual representation is probabilistic, why doesn't normal conscious perception reflect the full probability distributions that the probabilistic point of view endorses? For example, neurons in MT/V5 that respond to the direction of motion are broadly tuned: a patch of cortex that is tuned to vertical motion also responds to horizontal motion, but when we see vertical motion, foveally, in good conditions, it does not look at all (...)
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  32. Identifying the Problem of Personal Identity.Ned Markosian - 2010 - In Joseph Keim Campbell, Michael O'Rourke & Harry Silverstein (eds.), Time and Identity. MIT Press. pp. 129.
    This paper has two main aims. The first is to propose a new way of characterizing the problem of personal identity. The second is to show that the metaphysical picture that underlies my proposal has important implications for the 3D/4D debate. I start by spelling out several of the old ways of characterizing the problem of personal identity and saying what I think is wrong with each of them. Next I present and motivate some metaphysical principles concerning property instantiations that (...)
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  33. Sexism, Racism, Ageism and the Nature of Consciousness.Ned Block - 2000 - In Richard Moran, Alan Sidelle & Jennifer E. Whiting (eds.), Philosophical Topics. University of Arkansas Press. pp. 71--88.
    Everyone would agree that the American flag is red, white and blue. Everyone should also agree that it looks red, white and blue to people with normal color vision in appropriate circumstances. If a philosophical theory led to the conclusion that the red stripes cannot look red to both men and women, both blacks and whites, both young and old, we would be reluctant (to say the least) to accept that philosophical theory. But there is a widespread philosophical view about (...)
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  34. The Mind as the Software of the Brain.Ned Block - 1995 - In Daniel N. Osherson, Lila Gleitman, Stephen M. Kosslyn, S. Smith & Saadya Sternberg (eds.), An Invitation to Cognitive Science, Second Edition, Volume 3. Cambridge MA: MIT Press. pp. 377-425.
    In this section, we will start with an influential attempt to define `intelligence', and then we will move to a consideration of how human intelligence is to be investigated on the machine model. The last part of the section will discuss the relation between the mental and the biological.
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  35. Explaining Causal Selection with Explanatory Causal Economy: Biology and Beyond.L. R. Franklin-Hall - 2015 - In P.-A. Braillard & C. Malaterre (eds.), Explanation in Biology: An Enquiry into the Diversity of Explanatory Patterns in the Life Sciences. Springer. pp. 413-438.
    Among the factors necessary for the occurrence of some event, which of these are selectively highlighted in its explanation and labeled as causes — and which are explanatorily omitted, or relegated to the status of background conditions? Following J. S. Mill, most have thought that only a pragmatic answer to this question was possible. In this paper I suggest we understand this ‘causal selection problem’ in causal-explanatory terms, and propose that explanatory trade-offs between abstraction and stability can provide a principled (...)
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  36. Soc It to Me? Reply to McDaniel on Maxcon Simples.Ned Markosian - 2004 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82 (2):332 – 340.
    I raised the following question in a recent paper: What are the necessary and jointly sufficient conditions for an object's being a simple? And I proposed and defended this answer (which I called 'MaxCon'): Necessarily, x is a simple iff x is a maximally continuous object. In a more recent paper, Kris McDaniel raises several objections to MaxCon, including, in particular, two objections based on a principle about the supervenience of constitution that he calls 'SoC'. The purpose of the present (...)
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  37. Finessing the Bored Monkey Problem.Ned Block - 2020 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 24 (1):1-2.
    This is a response to Ian Phillips and Jorge Morales, "The Fundamental Problem with No-Cognition Paradigms," Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 2020.
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  38. Critical Study of Robin Lepoidevin (Ed.), Questions of Time and Tense.Ned Markosian - 2001 - Noûs 35 (4):616-629.
    Some people think that pastness, presentness and futurity (and their metric variants, such as being two days past) are genuine propeties of times and events. These putative properties are sometimes called “A properties” and the philosopers who believe in them are often called “A Theorists.” Other philosophers don’t believe in the reality of A properties, but instead say that talk that appears to be about such properties is really about “B relations” – two-place temporal relations like earlier than, simultaneous with, (...)
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  39. The Canberra Plan Neglects Ground.Ned Block - 2015 - In Terence Horgan, Marcelo Sabates & David Sosa (eds.), Qualia and Mental Causation in a Physical World: Themes from the Philosophy of Jaegwon Kim,. Cambridge University Press. pp. 105-133.
    This paper argues that the “Canberra Plan” picture of physicalistic reduction of mind--a picture shared by both its proponents and opponents, philosophers as diverse as David Armstrong, David Chalmers Frank Jackson, Jaegwon Kim, Joe Levine and David Lewis--neglects ground (Fine, 2001, 2012). To the extent that the point of view endorsed by the Canberra Plan has an account of the physical/functional ground of mind at all, it is in one version trivial and in another version implausible. In its most general (...)
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  40. The Causal Economy Approach to Scientific Explanation.Laura Franklin-Hall - forthcoming - Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science.
    This paper sketches a causal account of scientific explanation designed to sustain the judgment that high-level, detail-sparse explanations—particularly those offered in biology—can be at least as explanatorily valuable as lower-level counterparts. The motivating idea is that complete explanations maximize causal economy: they cite those aspects of an event’s causal run-up that offer the biggest-bang-for-your-buck, by costing less (in virtue of being abstract) and delivering more (in virtue making the event stable or robust).
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  41. Top-Down Attention and Consciousness: Comment on Cohen Et Al.Naotsugu Tsuchiya, Ned Block & Christof Koch - 2012 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 16 (11):527.
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  42. Seeing and Windows of Integration.Ned Block - 2013 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 2 (1):29-39.
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  43. The Paradox of the Question.Ned Markosian - 1997 - Analysis 57 (2):95–97.
    Once upon a time, during a large and international conference of the world's leading philosophers, an angel miraculously appeared and said, "I come to you as a messenger from God. You will be permitted to ask any one question you want - but only one! - and I will answer that question truthfully. What would you like to ask?" The philosophers were understandably excited, and immediately began a discussion of what would be the best question to ask. But it quickly (...)
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  44. Three Problems for Olson's Account of Personal Identity.Ned Markosian - 2008 - Abstracta 4 (S1):16-22.
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  45.  99
    Choreographing the Borderline: Dancing with Kristeva.Joshua M. Hall - 2012 - Philosophy Today 56 (1):49-58.
    In this paper I will investigate Kristeva’s conception of dance in regard to the trope of the borderline. I will begin with her explicit treatments of dance, the earliest of which occurs in Revolution in Poetic Language, in terms of (a) her analogy between poetry and dance as practices erupting on the border of chora and society, (b) her presentation of dance as a phenomenon bordering art and religion in rituals, and (c) her brief remarks on dance gesturality. I will (...)
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  46. Critical Studies: Robin le Poidevin, (Ed.) Questions of Time and Tense.Ned Markosian - 2001 - Noûs 35 (4):616–629.
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  47. Failure to Detect Mismatches Between Intention and Outcome in a Simple Decision Task.Petter Johansson, Lars Hall, Sverker Sikstrom & Andreas Olsson - 2005 - Science 310 (5745):116-119.
    A fundamental assumption of theories of decision-making is that we detect mismatches between intention and outcome, adjust our behavior in the face of error, and adapt to changing circumstances. Is this always the case? We investigated the relation between intention, choice, and introspection. Participants made choices between presented face pairs on the basis of attractiveness, while we covertly manipulated the relationship between choice and outcome that they experienced. Participants failed to notice conspicuous mismatches between their intended choice and the outcome (...)
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  48. The Defective Armchair: A Reply to Tye.Ned Block - 2014 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 3 (2):159-165.
    Michael Tye's response to my “Grain” (Block ) and “Windows” (Block ) raises general metaphilosophical issues about the value of intuitions and judgments about one's perceptions and the relations of those intuitions and judgments to empirical research, as well as specific philosophical issues about the relation between seeing, attention and de re thought. I will argue that Tye's appeal to what is (§. 2) “intuitively obvious, once we reflect upon these cases” (“intuition”) is problematic. I will also argue that first (...)
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  49. Holism, Mental and Semantic.Ned Block - 1996 - In Edward Craig (ed.), Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Routledge.
    Mental (or semantic) holism is the doctrine that the identity of a belief content (or the meaning of a sentence that expresses it) is determined by its place in the web of beliefs or sentences comprising a whole theory or group of theories. It can be contrasted with two other views: atomism and molecularism. Molecularism characterizes meaning and content in terms of relatively small parts of the web in a way that allows many different theories to share those parts. For (...)
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  50. Two Puzzles About Mercy.Ned Markosian - 2013 - Philosophical Quarterly 63 (251):269-292.
    Anslem raised a puzzle about mercy: How can anyone (God, say, or a judge) be both just and merciful at the same time? For it seemed to Anselm that justice requires giving people what they deserve, while being merciful involves treating people less harshly than they deserve. This puzzle has led to a number of analyses of mercy. But a strange thing emerges from discussions of this topic: people seem to have wildly divergent intuitions about putative cases of mercy. Examples (...)
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