•  6
    The identity theory
    In Samuel D. Guttenplan (ed.), A Companion to the Philosophy of Mind, Blackwell. 1994.
    In Descartes's time the issue between materialists and their opponents was framed in terms of substances. Materialists such as Thomas Hobbes and Pierre Gassendi maintained that people are physical systems with abilities that no other physical systems have; people, therefore, are special kinds of physical substance. Descartes's DUALISM, by contrast, claimed that people consist of two distinct substances that interact causally: a physical body and a nonphysical, unextended substance. The tradition…Read more
  •  41
    Content, interpretation, and consciousness
    ProtoSociology 14 67-84. 2000.
    According to Dennett, the facts about consciousness are wholly fixed by the effects consciousness has on other things. But if a mental state's being conscious consists in one's having a higher-order thought about that state, we will in principle have an independent way to fix those facts. Dennett also holds that our speech acts sometimes determine what our thoughts are, since speech acts often outrun in content the thoughts they express.I argue that what thoughts we have is independent of how we…Read more
  •  32
    Subjective Character and Reflexive Content
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 68 (1): 191-198. 2004.
    John Perry’s splendid book, Knowledge, Possibility, and Consciousness, sets out to dispel the three main objections currently lodged against mind-body materialism. These are the objection from the alleged possibility of zombies, the knowledge argument made famous by Frank Jackson, and the modal objections due principally to Saul A. Kripke and David Chalmers. The discussion is penetrating throughout, and it develops many points in illuminating detail.
  •  4
    Being Conscious of Ourselves
    The Monist 87 (2): 159-181. 2004.
    What is it that we are conscious of when we are conscious of ourselves? Hume famously despaired of finding self, as against simply finding various impressions and ideas, when, as he put it, “I enter most intimately into what I call myself.” “When I turn my reflexion on myself, I never can perceive this self without some one or more perceptions; nor can I ever perceive any thing but the perceptions.”
  •  82
    René Descartes’s Meditations on First Philosophy
    Topoi 34 (2): 541-548. 2015.
    The major goal of René Descartes’s rich and penetrating recent book, Meditations on First Philosophy, is to develop a methodology for the discovery of the truth, more specifically, a methodology that accommodates the dictates of a mathematical physics for our view of physical reality. Such a methodology must accordingly deal with and seek to defuse the apparent conflict between a mathematical physics and our commonsense picture of things, a conflict that continues to pose difficult challenges. T…Read more
  •  129
    Few contemporary researchers in psychology, philosophy, and the cognitive sciences have any doubt about whether mental phenomena occur without being conscious. There is extensive and convincing clinical and experimental evidence for the existence of thoughts, desires, and related mental states that aren’t conscious. We characterize thoughts, desires, intentions, expectations, hopes, and many other mental states in terms of the things they are about and, more fully, in terms of their content, as …Read more
  •  42
    Perception: A Representative Theory by Frank Jackson (review)
    Journal of Philosophy 82 (1): 28-41. 1985.
  •  513
    One phenomenon pertains roughly to being awake. A person or other creature is conscious when it's awake and mentally responsive to sensory input; otherwise it's unconscious. This kind of consciousness figures most often in everyday discourse.
  •  33
    The Nature of Consciousness
    Mind 113 (451): 581-588. 2004.
  •  3
    Dualism
    In E. Craig (ed.), Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Routledge. 1998.
    Dualism is the view that mental phenomena are, in some respect, nonphysical. The best-known version is due to Descartes, and holds that the mind is a nonphysical substance. Descartes argued that, because minds have no spatial properties and physical reality is essentially extended in space, minds are wholly nonphysical. Every human being is accordingly a composite of two objects: a physical body, and a nonphysical object that is that human being's mind. On a weaker version of dualism, which cont…Read more
  •  30
    Sensory Quality and the Relocation Story
    Philosophical Topics 26 (1-2): 321-350. 1999.
  •  434
    The problem of consciousness is to say what it is for some of our thoughts, feelings, and sensations to be conscious, given that others are not. This is different from saying what it is for a person to be conscious or not conscious. Even when people are conscious, many of their thoughts and sensations typically are not. And there's nothing problematic about a person's being conscious; it's just the person's being awake and responsive to sensory input
  •  9
    Introspection and Self-Interpretation
    Philosophical Topics 28 (n/a): 201-234. 2000.
  •  42
    Neural Antecedents of Spontaneous Voluntary Movement: A New Perspective
    with Aaron Schurger and Myrto Mylopoulos
    Trends in Cognitive Sciences 20 (2): 77-79. 2016.
  •  54
    Higher-order thoughts and the appendage theory of consciousness
    Philosophical Psychology 6 (2): 155-66. 1993.
    Theories of what it is for a mental state to be conscious must answer two questions. We must say how we're conscious of our conscious mental states. And we must explain why we seem to be conscious of them in a way that's immediate. Thomas Natsoulas distinguishes three strategies for explaining what it is for mental states to be conscious. I show that the differences among those strategies are due to the divergent answers they give to the foregoing questions. Natsoulas finds most promising the st…Read more
  •  32
    Phenomenological overflow and cognitive access
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 30 (5-6): 522-523. 2007.
    I argue that the partial-report results Block cites do not establish that phenomenology overflows cognitive accessibility, as Block maintains. So, without additional argument, the mesh he sees between psychology and neuroscience is unsupported. I argue further that there is reason to hold, contra Block, that phenomenology does always involve some cognitive access to the relevant experience
  •  514
    The Higher-Order Model of Consciousness
    In Rita Carter (ed.), Consciousness, Weidenfeld & Nicolson. 2002.
    All mental states, including thoughts, feelings, perceptions, and sensations, often occur consciously. But they all occur also without being conscious. So the first thing a theory of consciousness must do is explain the difference between thoughts, feelings, perceptions, and sensations that are conscious and those which are not.
  •  148
    The timing of conscious states
    Consciousness and Cognition 11 (2): 215-20. 2002.
    Striking experimental results by Benjamin Libet and colleagues have had an impor- tant impact on much recent discussion of consciousness. Some investigators have sought to replicate or extend Libet’s results (Haggard, 1999; Haggard & Eimer, 1999; Haggard, Newman, & Magno, 1999; Trevena & Miller, 2002), while others have focused on how to interpret those findings (e.g., Gomes, 1998, 1999, 2002; Pockett, 2002), which many have seen as conflicting with our commonsense picture of mental functioningRead more
  •  28
    Explaining consciousness
    In David J. Chalmers (ed.), Philosophy of Mind: Contemporary Readings, Oxford University Press. pp. 406--421. 1993.