•  75
    I argue for the superiority of non-gappy physicalism over gappy physicalism. While physicalists are united in denying an ontological gap between the phenomenal and the physical, the gappy affirm and the non-gappy deny a relevant epistemological gap. Central to my arguments will be contemplation of Swamp Mary, a being physically intrinsically similar to post-release Mary (a physically omniscient being who has experienced red) but has not herself (the Swamp being) experienced red. Swamp Mary has p…Read more
  •  203
    Philosophy and the Neurosciences: A Reader (edited book)
    with William P. Bechtel, Jennifer Mundale, and Robert S. Stufflebeam
    Blackwell. 2001.
    2. Daugman, J. G. Brain metaphor and brain theory 3. Mundale, J. Neuroanatomical Foundations of Cognition: Connecting the Neuronal Level with the Study of Higher Brain Areas
  •  138
    Of all the enigmatic remarks running through Wittgensteinís Tractatus, none are a greater source of puzzlement to this reader than the endorsement of solipsism in 5.6-5.641. Wittgenstein writes ìI am my worldî, but, even though ìwhat solipsism means, is quite correct...it cannot be said, but it shows itselfî (5.63; 5.62). More intriguing still, he writes.
  •  139
    Metaphysical Daring as a Posthuman Survival Strategy
    Midwest Studies in Philosophy 39 (1): 144-157. 2015.
    I develop an argument that believing in the survivability of a mind uploading procedure conveys value to its believers that is assessable independently of assessing the truth of the belief. Regardless of whether the first-order metaphysical belief is true, believing it conveys a kind of Darwinian fitness to the believer. Of course, a further question remains of whether having that Darwinian property can be a basis—in a rational sense of being a basis—for one’s holding the belief. I’ll also make …Read more
  •  217
    Many philosophical issues concern questions of objectivity and subjectivity. Of these questions, there are two kinds. The first considers whether something is objective or subjective; the second what it _means_ for something to be objective or subjective
  •  116
    The philosophy and neuroscience movement
    Analyze and Kritik 26 (1): 3-23. 2007.
    A movement dedicated to applying neuroscience to traditional philosophical problems and using philosophical methods to illuminate issues in neuroscience began about twenty-five years ago. Results in neuroscience have affected how we see traditional areas of philosophical concern such as perception, belief-formation, and consciousness. There is an interesting interaction between some of the distinctive features of neuroscience and important general issues in the philosophy of science. And recent …Read more
  •  190
    The Philosophy and Neuroscience Movement
    Analyse & Kritik 29 (1): 3-23. 2007.
    A movement dedicated to applying neuroscience to traditional philosophical problems and using philosophical methods to illuminate issues in neuroscience began about twenty-five years ago. Results in neuroscience have affected how we see traditional areas of philosophical concern such as perception, belief-formation, and consciousness. There is an interesting interaction between some of the distinctive features of neuroscience and important general issues in the philosophy of science. And recent …Read more
  •  103
    The introspectibility of brain states as such
    In Brian Keeley (ed.), Paul Churchland, Cambridge University Press. 2006.
    Is the Introspection Thesis true? It certainly isn’t obvious. Introspection is the faculty by which each of us has access to his or her own mental states. Even if we were to suppose that mental states are identical to brain states, it doesn’t follow immediately from this supposition that we can introspect our mental states as brain states. This point is analogous to the following. It doesn’t follow immediately from the mere fact that some distant object is identical to a horse that we can percei…Read more
  •  230
    Supervenience and neuroscience
    Synthese 180 (3). 2011.
    The philosophical technical term "supervenience" is frequently used in the philosophy of mind as a concise way of characterizing the core idea of physicalism in a manner that is neutral with respect to debates between reductive physicalists and nonreductive physicalists. I argue against this alleged neutrality and side with reductive physicalists. I am especially interested here in debates between psychoneural reductionists and nonreductive functionalist physicalists. Central to my arguments wil…Read more
  •  88
    I propose and defend the Allocentric-Egocentric Interface Theory of Con- sciousness. Mental processes form a hierarchy of mental representations with maxi- mally egocentric (self-centered) representations at the bottom and maximally allocentric (other-centered) representations at the top. Phenomenally conscious states are states that are relatively intermediate in this hierarchy. More speci.
  •  131
    The majority of contemporary philosophers of mind are physicalists. The majority of physicalists, however, are non-reductive physicalists. As nonreductive physicalists, these philosophers hold that a system's mental properties are different from a system's physical properties, that is, they hold that the sum total of mental facts about some system is a different set of facts than the sum total of physical facts about the same system. As physicalists, however, these nonreductivists hold that ment…Read more
  •  523
    An epistemological theory of consciousness?
    In Alessio Plebe & Vivian De La Cruz (eds.), Philosophy in the Neuroscience Era, Squilibri. 2008.
    This article tackles problems concerning the reduction of phenomenal consciousness to brain processes that arise in consideration of specifically epistemological properties that have been attributed to conscious experiences. In particular, various defenders of dualism and epiphenomenalism have argued for their positions by assuming special epistemic access to phenomenal consciousness. Many physicalists have reacted to such arguments by denying the epistemological premises. My aim in this paper i…Read more
  •  410
    Philosophical tradition contains two major lines of thought concerning the relative difficulty of the notions of objectivity and subjectivity. One tradition, which we might characterize as
  •  37
    Synthetic neuroethology
    In James Moor & Terrell Ward Bynum (eds.), Metaphilosophy, Blackwell. pp. 11-29. 2002.
    Computation and philosophy intersect three times in this essay. Computation is considered as an object, as a method, and as a model used in a certain line of philosophical inquiry concerning the relation of mind to matter. As object, the question considered is whether computation and related notions of mental representation constitute the best ways to conceive of how physical systems give rise to mental properties. As method and model, the computational techniques of artificial life and embodied…Read more
  •  112
    Philosophy meets the neurosciences
    with William Bechtel and Jennifer Mundale
    In William P. Bechtel, Pete Mandik, Jennifer Mundale & Robert S. Stufflebeam (eds.), Philosophy and the Neurosciences: A Reader, Blackwell. 2001.
  •  140
    Qualia, space, and control
    Philosophical Psychology 12 (1): 47-60. 1999.
    According to representionalists, qualia-the introspectible properties of sensory experience-are exhausted by the representational contents of experience. Representationalists typically advocate an informational psychosemantics whereby a brain state represents one of its causal antecedents in evolutionarily determined optimal circumstances. I argue that such a psychosemantics may not apply to certain aspects of our experience, namely, our experience of space in vision, hearing, and touch. I offer…Read more
  •  650
    Mental representation and the subjectivity of consciousness
    Philosophical Psychology 14 (2): 179-202. 2001.
    Many have urged that the biggest obstacles to a physicalistic understanding of consciousness are the problems raised in connection with the subjectivity of consciousness. These problems are most acutely expressed in consideration of the knowledge argument against physicalism. I develop a novel account of the subjectivity of consciousness by explicating the ways in which mental representations may be perspectival. Crucial features of my account involve analogies between the representations involv…Read more
  •  225
    Control Consciousness
    Topics in Cognitive Science 2 (4): 643-657. 2010.
    Control consciousness is the awareness or experience of seeming to be in control of one’s actions. One view, which I will be arguing against in the present paper, is that control consciousness is a form of sensory consciousness. In such a view, control consciousness is exhausted by sensory elements such as tactile and proprioceptive information. An opposing view, which I will be arguing for, is that sensory elements cannot be the whole story and must be supplemented by direct contributions of no…Read more
  •  63
    I develop advice to the reductionist about consciousness in the form of a transcendental argument that depends crucially on the sorts of knowledge claims concerning consciousness that, as crucial elements in the anti-reductionists’ epistemicgap arguments, the anti-reductionist will readily concede. The argument that I develop goes as follows. P1. If I know that I am not a zombie, then phenomenal character is (a certain kind of) conceptualized egocentric content. P2. I know that I am not a zombie…Read more
  •  13
    Book reviews (review)
    with James H. Fetzer, Henry Cribbs, Morten H. Christiansen, Peggy DesAutels, Douglas G. Winblad, Wayne Christensen, and David Blumenfeld
    Philosophical Psychology 10 (1): 113-137. 1997.
  •  187
    This is Philosophy. In keeping with the mission of the series, This is Philosophy: Philosophy of Mind will be both accessible to the average student and technology oriented, integrating with supplemental online material. Also, while the proposed book will cover all of the topics one would expect in a traditional philosophy of mind course, it will be up to date and cover recent advances that are sadly missing from many competitor volumes. My proposed volume will not be limited to what has become …Read more
  •  90
    The present paper has three aims. The first and foremost aim is to introduce into philosophy of mind and related areas (philosophy of language, etc) a discussion of Slow Earth, an analogue to the classic Twin Earth scenario that features a difference from aboriginal Earth that hinges on time instead of the distribution of natural kinds. The second aim is to use Slow Earth to call into question the central lessons often alleged to flow from consideration of Twin Earth, lessons having to do with r…Read more
  •  83
    Philosophy of Science
    with William Bechtel
    In Lynn Nadel (ed.), The Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science, Macmillan. 2002.
    00192001 Philosophy of science is primarily concernedto provide accounts of the principles and processes of scientific explanation. Early in the twentieth century, philosophers of science focusedon the logical structure of scientific thought, whereas in the later part of the century logic was de-emphasized in favour of other frameworks for conceptualizing scientific reasoning andexplanation, andan emphasis on historical andsociological factors that shape scientific thinking. While tracing throug…Read more