Results for 'Niall W. Duncan'

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  1. The Trajectory of Self.Timothy Lane, Niall W. Duncan, Tony Cheng & Georg Northoff - 2016 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 20 (7):481-482.
    In a recent Opinion article, Sui and Humphreys [1] argue that experimental findings suggest self is ‘special’, in that self-reference serves a binding function within human cognitive economy. Contrasting their view with other functionalist positions, chiefly Dennett's [2], they deny that self is a convenient fiction and adduce findings to show that a ‘core self representation’ serves as an ‘integrative glue’ helping to bind distinct types of information as well as distinct stages of psycho- logical processing. In other words, where (...)
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  2. Objections to Dualism.Steven M. Duncan - manuscript
    In this essay, I discuss the standard objections to substance dualism and conclude that they are far less formidable than is usually supposed.
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  3. Mind and Body in Modern Philosophy.Stewart Duncan - 2016 - Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy Online.
    A survey of the issue. Topics include Descartes; early critics of Descartes; occasionalism and pre-established harmony; materialism; idealism; views about animal minds; and simplicity.
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  4. Debating Materialism: Cavendish, Hobbes, and More.Stewart Duncan - 2012 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 29 (4):391-409.
    This paper discusses the materialist views of Margaret Cavendish, focusing on the relationships between her views and those of two of her contemporaries, Thomas Hobbes and Henry More. It argues for two main claims. First, Cavendish's views sit, often rather neatly, between those of Hobbes and More. She agreed with Hobbes on some issues and More on others, while carving out a distinctive alternative view. Secondly, the exchange between Hobbes, More, and Cavendish illustrates a more general puzzle about just what (...)
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  5. Leibniz's Mill Arguments Against Materialism.Stewart Duncan - 2012 - Philosophical Quarterly 62 (247):250-72.
    Leibniz's mill argument in 'Monadology' 17 is a well-known but puzzling argument against materialism about the mind. I approach the mill argument by considering other places where Leibniz gave similar arguments, using the same example of the machinery of a mill and reaching the same anti-materialist conclusion. In a 1702 letter to Bayle, Leibniz gave a mill argument that moves from his definition of perception (as the expression of a multitude by a simple) to the anti-materialist conclusion. Soon afterwards, in (...)
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  6. Hobbes on Language: Propositions, Truth, and Absurdity.Stewart Duncan - 2016 - In A. P. Martinich & Kinch Hoekstra (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Hobbes. Oxford University Press. pp. 57-72.
    Language was central to Hobbes's understanding of human beings and their mental abilities, and criticism of other philosophers' uses of language became a favorite critical tool for him. This paper connects Hobbes's theories about language to his criticisms of others' language, examining Hobbes's theories of propositions and truth, and how they relate to his claims that various sorts of proposition are absurd. It considers whether Hobbes in fact means anything more by 'absurd' than 'false'. And it pays particular attention to (...)
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  7. Hobbes, Universal Names, and Nominalism.Stewart Duncan - 2017 - In Stefano Di Bella & Tad M. Schmaltz (eds.), The Problem of Universals in Early Modern Philosophy. Oxford University Press.
    Thomas Hobbes was, rather famously, a nominalist. The core of that nominalism is the belief that the only universal things are universal names: there are no universal objects, or universal ideas. This paper looks at what Hobbes's views about universal names were, how they evolved over time, and how Hobbes argued for them. The remainder of the paper considers two objections to Hobbes's view: a criticism made by several of Hobbes's contemporaries, that Hobbes's view could not account for people saying (...)
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  8. Leibniz on Hobbes’s Materialism.Stewart Duncan - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 41 (1):11-18.
    I consider Leibniz's thoughts about Hobbes's materialism, focusing on his less-discussed later thoughts about the topic. Leibniz understood Hobbes to have argued for his materialism from his imagistic theory of ideas. Leibniz offered several criticisms of this argument and the resulting materialism itself. Several of these criticisms occur in texts in which Leibniz was engaging with the generation of British philosophers after Hobbes. Of particular interest is Leibniz's correspondence with Damaris Masham. Leibniz may have been trying to communicate with Locke, (...)
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  9. Hobbes, Signification, and Insignificant Names.Stewart Duncan - 2011 - Hobbes Studies 24 (2):158-178.
    The notion of signification is an important part of Hobbes's philosophy of language. It also has broader relevance, as Hobbes argues that key terms used by his opponents are insignificant. However Hobbes's talk about names' signification is puzzling, as he appears to have advocated conflicting views. This paper argues that Hobbes endorsed two different views of names' signification in two different contexts. When stating his theoretical views about signification, Hobbes claimed that names signify ideas. Elsewhere he talked as if words (...)
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  10. Kant's Critique of the Ontological Argument: FAIL.Steven M. Duncan - manuscript
    In this paper, I argue that Kant's famous critique of the Ontological Argument largely begs the question against that argument, and is no better when supplemented by the modern quantificational analysis of "exists." In particular, I argue that the claim, common to Hume and Kant, that conceptual truths can never entail substantive existential claims is false,and thus no ground for rejecting the Ontological Argument.
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  11. Toland, Leibniz, and Active Matter.Stewart Duncan - 2013 - Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy 6:249-78.
    In the early years of the eighteenth century Leibniz had several interactions with John Toland. These included, from 1702 to 1704, discussions of materialism. Those discussions culminated with the consideration of Toland's 1704 Letters to Serena, where Toland argued that matter is necessarily active. In this paper I argue for two main theses about this exchange and its consequences for our wider understanding. The first is that, despite many claims that Toland was at the time of Letters to Serena a (...)
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  12. Hobbes's Materialism in the Early 1640s.Stewart Duncan - 2005 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 13 (3):437 – 448.
    I argue that Hobbes isn't really a materialist in the early 1640s (in, e.g., the Third Objections to Descartes's Meditations). That is, he doesn't assert that bodies are the only substances. However, he does think that bodies are the only substances we can think about using imagistic ideas.
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  13. Knowledge of God in Leviathan.Stewart Duncan - 2005 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 22 (1):31-48.
    Hobbes denies in Leviathan that we have an idea of God. He does think, though, that God exists, and does not even deny that we can think about God, even though he says we have no idea of God. There is, Hobbes thinks, another cognitive mechanism by means of which we can think about God. That mechanism allows us only to think a few things about God though. This constrains what Hobbes can say about our knowledge of God, and grounds (...)
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  14. Toland and Locke in the Leibniz-Burnett Correspondence.Stewart Duncan - 2017 - Locke Studies 17:117-141.
    Leibniz's correspondence with Thomas Burnett of Kemnay is probably best known for Leibniz's attempts to communicate with Locke via Burnett. But Burnett was also, more generally a source of English intellectual news for Leibniz. As such, Burnett provided an important part of the context in which Locke was presented to and understood by Leibniz. -/- This paper examines the Leibniz-Burnett correspondence, and argues against Jolley's suggestion that "the context in which Leibniz learned about Locke was primarily a theological one". That (...)
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  15. Descartes' Refutation of Atheism: A Defense.Steven M. Duncan - manuscript
    Descartes argues that, apart from the existence of a veracious God, we can have no reason to believe that we possess reliable cognitive faculties, with the result that, if atheism is true, not even our seemingly most certain beliefs can count as knowledge for us. Since the atheist denies the existence of God, he or she will be precisely in this position. I argue that Descartes' argument is sound, and that atheism is therefore self-refuting.
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  16. The Neurological Disease Ontology.Mark Jensen, Alexander P. Cox, Naveed Chaudhry, Marcus Ng, Donat Sule, William Duncan, Patrick Ray, Bianca Weinstock-Guttman, Barry Smith, Alan Ruttenberg, Kinga Szigeti & Alexander D. Diehl - 2013 - Journal of Biomedical Semantics 4 (42):42.
    We are developing the Neurological Disease Ontology (ND) to provide a framework to enable representation of aspects of neurological diseases that are relevant to their treatment and study. ND is a representational tool that addresses the need for unambiguous annotation, storage, and retrieval of data associated with the treatment and study of neurological diseases. ND is being developed in compliance with the Open Biomedical Ontology Foundry principles and builds upon the paradigm established by the Ontology for General Medical Science (OGMS) (...)
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  17. Minds Everywhere: Margaret Cavendish's Anti-Mechanist Materialism.Stewart Duncan - manuscript
    This paper considers Margaret Cavendish's distinctive anti-mechanist materialism, focusing on her 1664 Philosophical Letters, in which she discusses the views of Hobbes, Descartes, and More, among others. The paper examines Cavendish's views about natural, material souls: the soul of nature, the souls of finite individuals, and the relation between them. After briefly digressing to look at Cavendish's views about divine, supernatural souls, the paper then turns to the reasons for Cavendish's disagreement with mechanist accounts. There are disagreements over the explanation (...)
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  18. Leibniz on the Expression of God.Stewart Duncan - 2015 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 2:83-103.
    Leibniz frequently uses the notion of expression, but it is not easy to see just how he understood that relation. This paper focuses on the particular case of the expression of God, which is prominent in the 'Discourse on Metaphysics'. The treatment of expression there suggests several questions. Which substances did Leibniz believe expressed God? Why did Leibniz believe those substances expressed God? And did he believe that all substances expressed God in the same way and for the same reasons? (...)
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  19. Review of James R. Martel, Subverting the Leviathan. [REVIEW]Stewart Duncan - 2009 - Restoration, Studies in English Literary Culture, 1660-1700 33:57-9.
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  20. Modal Persistence and Modal Travel.Kristie Miller & Michael Duncan - 2015 - Ratio 28 (3):241-255.
    We argue that there is an interesting modal analogue of temporal persistence, namely modal persistence, and an interesting modal analogue of time travel, namely modal travel. We explicate each of these notions and then argue that there are plausible conditions under which some ordinary objects modally persist. We go on to consider whether it is plausible that any modally persistent objects also modally travel.
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  21. Materialism.Stewart Duncan - 2013 - In S. A. Lloyd (ed.), Bloomsbury Companion to Hobbes. Continuum.
    This is a short (1,000 word) introduction to Hobbes's materialism, covering (briefly) such issues as what the relevant notion of materialism is, Hobbes's debate with Descartes, and what Hobbes's arguments for materialism were.
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  22. Ontological Support for Living Plan Specification, Execution and Evaluation.Erik Thomsen, Fred Read, William Duncan, Tatiana Malyuta & Barry Smith - 2014 - In Semantic Technology in Intelligence, Defense and Security (STIDS), CEUR vol. 1304. pp. 10-17.
    Maintaining systems of military plans is critical for military effectiveness, but is also challenging. Plans will become obsolete as the world diverges from the assumptions on which they rest. If too many ad hoc changes are made to intermeshed plans, the ensemble may no longer lead to well-synchronized and coordinated operations, resulting in the system of plans becoming itself incoherent. We describe in what follows an Adaptive Planning process that we are developing on behalf of the Air Force Research Laboratory (...)
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  23. Comments on Larry May, Limiting Leviathan. [REVIEW]Stewart Duncan - 2014 - Hobbes Studies 27 (2):185-190.
    This paper discusses two aspects of Larry May's book Limiting Leviathan. First it discusses a passage in Leviathan, to which May draws attention, in which Hobbes connects obligation to "that, which in the disputations of scholars is called absurdity". Secondly it looks at the book's discussion of Hobbes and pacifist attitudes, with reference to Hobbes's contemporary critic John Eachard.
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  24. A Kantian Theodicy.Steven M. Duncan - manuscript
    In this paper, I present a Kantian theodicy, i.e. one based on some of the leading ideas in Kant's ethics, to the classical problem of evil and recommend it as an adequate solution to the problem of evil so understood.
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  25. The Inescapable Self.Steven M. Duncan - manuscript
    In this paper I discuss the existence of the substantial self and argue against those, like Hume, who deny its reality.
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  26. Descartes and the Crazy Argument.Steven M. Duncan - manuscript
    In Meditation I, Descartes dismisses the possibility that he might be insane as a ground for doubting that the senses are a source of knowledge of the external world. In this paper, I argue that Descartes was justified in so doing, and draw some general epistemological conclusions from this result.
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  27. Hume and a Worry About Simplicity.Stewart Duncan - 2009 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 26 (2):139-157.
    I discuss Hume's views about whether simplicity and generality are positive features of explanations. In criticizing Hobbes and others who base their systems of morality on self interest, Hume diagnoses their errors as resulting from a "love of simplicity". These worries about whether simplicity is a positive feature of explanations emerge in Hume's thinking over time. But Hume does not completely reject the idea that it's good to seek simple explanations. What Hume thinks we need is good judgment about when (...)
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  28. God is NOT Hidden.Steven M. Duncan - manuscript
    In this paper I argue that there is no problem of Divine Hiddenness for Christians and offer an alternate explanation for the widespread claim that God's existence is hidden based on the Christian doctrine of Original Sin.
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  29. Kant's Pre-Critical Proof for God's Existence.Steven M. Duncan - manuscript
    In his Beweisgrund (1762), Kant presents a sketch of "the only possible basis" for a proof of God's existence. In this essay, I attempt to present that proof as a valid and sound argument for the existence of God.
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  30. In Defense of Temporal Passage.Steven M. Duncan - manuscript
    In this paper, I endorse and defend the Common Sense View of Time (CSVT), i.e. Presentism plus the A-theory of time, by arguing for the objective reality of temporal passage.
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  31. Review of Tom Sorell and Luc Foisneau (Ed.), Leviathan After 350 Years. [REVIEW]Stewart Duncan - 2006 - Philosophical Quarterly 56 (225):614-6.
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  32. The Burning Bush.Steven M. Duncan - manuscript
    In this paper, I present some ruminations on Hume's argument from miracles and the distorted view of rationality that it reflects (along with religious skepticism generally) contrasting it with what I take to be a better account of rationality, one more sympathetic - at least less hostile - to religious claims.
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  33. Why There Can't Be a Self-Explanatory Series of Infinite Past Events.Steven M. Duncan - manuscript
    Based on a recently published essay by Jeremy Gwiazda, I argue that the possibility that the present state of the universe is the product of an actually infinite series of causally-ordered prior events is impossible in principle, and thus that a major criticism of the Secunda Via of St. Thomas is baseless after all.
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  34. It's Murder!(?).Steven M. Duncan - 2013 - Seattle Critical Review (3):8-12.
    Although this piece was inspired by the kinds of legal puzzles discussed by Hart and Honore in Causation in the Law, the puzzle cases presented here are intended to test the reader's intuitions about what constitutes murder. Play along!
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  35. Happiness: A Preliminary Investigation.Steven M. Duncan - manuscript
    In this paper, I present the case for an objective, as opposed to subjective, conception of happiness along familiar, classical lines.
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  36. Mind, Body, Space, and Time.Steven M. Duncan - manuscript
    In this essay I explore some of the basic elements of consciousness from a substance dualist point of view, incorporating some elements of Kant's Transcendental Analytic into an overall account of the constitution of consciousness.
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  37. Can I Know What I Am ThInking?Steven M. Duncan - manuscript
    In this paper, I argue that, if a common form of materialism is true, I cannot know my own thoughts, or even that I am thinking. I conclude that, since I can and do know these things, materialism about mind as I characterize it must be false.
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  38. A Defense of the Crucial Premise of the Third Way.Steven M. Duncan - manuscript
    Aquinas' Third Way is often dismissed as a howler, because he infers from the fact that, since the universe is metaphysically contingent that there was some time in the past when it didn't exist. I offer an argument to justify this inference.
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  39. Having Faith in Reason.Steven M. Duncan - manuscript
    An Address delivered to the Seattle G. K. Chesterton Society at the University of Washington Newman Center, May 2, 2013.
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  40. On Causation: With Special Reference to Hume.Steven M. Duncan - manuscript
    Hume was correct in his critique of causation as understood by the New Science, a critique deadly to both causal and scientific realism. Getting beyond Hume's critique of causation requires that we call into question the New Science's understanding of causation and replace it with a Neo-Aristotelian account of causal processes. In this paper, I try to point the way to such an account.
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  41. Possibilities That Matter I: Material Possibility.Steven M. Duncan - manuscript
    This is the first of a series of four papers presenting modal logic as a branch of material, rather than merely formal, logic.
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  42. Possibilities That Matter II: Material Contingency and Sufficient Reason.Steven M. Duncan - manuscript
    This is the second of a series of papers inspired by a paper I wrote around 1989. In this paper, I consider the notion of material contingency and relate it to the traditional, metaphysically loaded Principle of Sufficient Reason.
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  43. Theism and Christianity.Steven M. Duncan - manuscript
    In this essay, I investigate the implications for the discussion of theism in philosophy of religion for the beliefs of ordinary Christians and conclude that, in light of its historical development, those implications are minimal.
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  44. Pain and Evil.Steven M. Duncan - manuscript
    In this paper I defend the thesis that, considered simply as certain sorts of bodily sensations, pleasure is not the good nor is pain intrinsically evil. In fact, the opposite is largely the case: pursuit of pleasure is generally productive of ontic evil, and pain, when heeded, directs us toward the ontic good.
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  45. Why Skepticism Fails.Steven M. Duncan - manuscript
    Do skeptical arguments undermine reason, as Hume supposes? In this paper, I argue that they do not and that skepticism is thus no threat to dogmatism about the possibility of knowledge.
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  46. Seeing Other Minds.Steven M. Duncan - 2010 - Seattle Critical Review (on Line) 1 (1):1-30.
    In this paper, I offer an account of our knowledge of other minds based on V. C. Aldrich's account of aesthetic perception, according to which there is a sense in which we literally see other minds.
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  47. The Consequences of Neurophysiological Materialism.Steven M. Duncan - manuscript
    In this essay, I argue that neurophysiological materialism - the thesis that all of our mental contents are caused by non-mental, purely physical brain states - is epistemically self-refuting, and ought to be rejected even if it cannot be otherwise disproved.
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  48. Sin and Suffering.Steven M. Duncan - manuscript
    In this essay I discuss the concept of suffering, the causes of suffering, and the Christian solution to the problem of suffering. I conclude that there is no basis, within the Christian view of things, for raising the traditional problem of evil through reflection on the fact of substantial suffering in the world. I thus respectfully suggest that the problem of evil is only a problem for non-believers, who have the wrong perspective on the nature and source of suffering. (When (...)
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  49. Possibilities That Matter III: Materially Necessary Being.Steven M. Duncan - manuscript
    This is the third in a series of papers on material modality, which explores the concept of a materially necessary being and argues that such a being exists.
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  50. The Present.Steven M. Duncan - manuscript
    While the nature of the past and the future have received a lot of attention from recent analytic philosophers, the present has been somewhat neglected. I think the notion of the present is somewhat misunderstood and hope to rectify some of those misunderstandings in this essay. It is high time that this was done. Let's do it now!
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