•  181
    In Defence of the Hybrid View
    with M. Thau
    Mind 105 (417). 1996.
    argument fails, and the purpose of this note is to bring out that failure. The view in question which Heck calls the Hybrid Vie~istinguishes between the meanings of names and the contents of beliefs which are expressible using names. According to the Hybrid View the meaning of a name is its referent: names do not have senses. Thus (a) "George Orwell wrote 1984" means the same as (b) "Eric Blair wrote 1984". However, the Hybrid View tells a different story about the beliefs one expresses when one…Read more
  •  293
    In J. Pfeifer & Sahotra Sarkar (eds.), The Philosophy of Science: An Encyclopedia, Routledge. 2006.
    Some things are _about_, or are _directed on_ , or _represent_, other things. For example, the sentence 'Cats are animals' is about cats (and about animals), this article is about intentionality, Emanuel Leutze's most famous painting is about Washington's crossing of the Delaware, lanterns hung in Boston's North Church were about the British, and a map of Boston is about Boston. In contrast, '#a$b', a blank slate, and the city of Boston are not about anything. Many mental states and events also …Read more
  •  185
    Review Essay of Dorit Bar-On’s Speaking My Mind (review)
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 83 705-17. 2011.
    “Avowals” are utterances that “ascribe [current] states of mind”; for instance utterances of ‘I have a terrible headache’ and ‘I’m finding this painting utterly puzzling’ (Bar-On 2004: 1). And avowals, “when compared to ordinary empirical reports…appear to enjoy distinctive security” (1), which Bar-On elaborates as follows: A subject who avows being tired, or scared of something, or thinking that p, is normally presumed to have the last word on the relevant matters; we would not presume to criti…Read more
  •  56
    The diversity of topics discussed in this book reflects the breadth of Judith Jarvis Thomson's philosophical work. Throughout her long career at MIT, Thomson's straightforward approach and emphasis on problem-solving have shaped philosophy in significant ways. Some of the book's contributions discuss specific moral and political issues such as abortion, self-defense, the rights and obligations of prospective fathers, and political campaign finance. Other contributions concern the foundations of …Read more
  •  26
    Do colours look like dispositions?
    Philosophical Quarterly 51 (203): 238--45. 2001.
    Dispositional theories of colour have been attacked by McGinn and others on the ground that ‘Colours do not look like dispositions’. Langsam has argued that on the contrary they do, in ‘Why Colours Do Look Like Dispositions’, The Philosophical Quarterly, 50 , pp. 68–75. I make three claims. First, neither side has made its case. Secondly, it is true, at least on one interpretation, that colours do not look like dispositions. Thirdly, this does not show that dispositionalism about colours is fals…Read more
  •  251
    Knowing what I see
    In Declan Smithies & Daniel Stoljar (eds.), Introspection and Consciousness, Oxford University Press. 2012.
    How do I know that I see a cat? A curiously under-asked question. The paper tries to answer it.
  •  550
    Transparency, belief, intention
    Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 85 201-21. 2011.
    This paper elaborates and defends a familiar ‘transparent’ account of knowledge of one's own beliefs, inspired by some remarks of Gareth Evans, and makes a case that the account can be extended to mental states in general, in particular to knowledge of one's intentions.
  •  35
    Consciousness, Color, and Content
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 68 (1): 245-247. 2004.
    Somewhat at random, I shall pick chapter 7 for a closer look. Tye distinguishes three versions of the view that colors are “mind-independent, illumination-independent properties”, which we frequently see physical objects as possessing. The first is emergentism, according to which colors are “simple qualities” that nomologically supervene on the physical facts: there is a possible world exactly like the actual world physically, but in which nothing is colored. Brute nonreductive physicalism is th…Read more
  •  135
    Intentionalism Defended
    Philosophical Review 110 (2). 2001.
    Traditionally, perceptual experiences—for example, the experience of seeing a cat—were thought to have two quite distinct components. When one sees a cat, one’s experience is “about” the cat: this is the representational or intentional component of the experience. One’s experience also has phenomenal character: this is the sensational component of the experience. Although the intentional and sensational components at least typically go together, in principle they might come apart: the intentiona…Read more
  •  21
  •  417
    Recollection, perception, imagination
    Philosophical Studies 148. 2010.
    Remembering a cat sleeping (specifically, recollecting the way the cat looked), perceiving (specifically, seeing) a cat sleeping, and imagining (specifically, visualizing) a cat sleeping are of course importantly different. Nonetheless, from the first-person perspective they are palpably alike. The paper addresses two questions: Q1. What are these similarities (and differences)? Q2. How does one tell that one is recalling (and so not perceiving or imagining)?
  •  180
    Hmm… Hill on the paradox of pain
    Philosophical Studies 161 489-96. 2012.
    Critical discussion of Chris Hill's perceptual theory of pain.
  •  19
    Problems of Vision: Rethinking the Causal Theory of Perception
    Philosophical Review 108 (3): 415. 1999.
    Problems of Vision is divided into three parts. The first part argues for the “insight at [the] core” of the causal theory of perception.
  •  33
    Dennett versus Gibson
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (6): 751-752. 1998.
    Pessoa et al. misinterpret some of Dennett's discussion of filling-in. Their argument against the representational conception of vision and for a Gibsonian alternative is also flawed.
  •  377
    Perception and conceptual content
    In Ernest Sosa & Matthias Steup (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Epistemology, Blackwell. pp. 231--250. 2005.
    Perceptual experiences justify beliefs—that much seems obvious. As Brewer puts it, “sense experiential states provide reasons for empirical beliefs” (this volume, xx). In Mind and World McDowell argues that we can get from this apparent platitude to the controversial claim that perceptual experiences have conceptual content: [W]e can coherently credit experiences with rational relations to judgement and belief, but only if we take it that spontaneity is already implicated in receptivity; that is…Read more
  •  106
    It will not have escaped notice that the defendant in this afternoon
  •  72
    <b>1</b>. Let us say that a thought is _about an object _o just in case the truth value of the thought at any possible world W depends on how things are with _o_ in W. Thus the thought that the first Chancellor of the German Empire was an astute diplomatist is not about Bismark, because that thought is true in a world W iff, in W, whoever happens to be the first Chancellor was an astute diplomatist, and that may well not be Bismark. On Russell.
  •  50
    An introduction to meta-ethics for non-philosophers
  •  347
    Sensory qualities, sensible qualities, sensational qualities
    In Brian McLaughlin, Ansgar Beckermann & Sven Walter (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Mind, Oxford University Press. 2009.
    Philosophers of mind have distinguished (and sometimes conflated) various qualities. This article tries to sort things out.
  •  26
    Dialectica 60 (3). 2006.
  • Spin control
    In Enrique Villanueva (ed.), Perception, Ridgeview. pp. 261--74. 1996.
  •  46
    Our reply is in four parts. The first part addresses objections to our claim that there might be "unknowable" color facts. The second part discusses the use we make of opponent process theory. The third part examines the question of whether colors are causes. The fourth part takes up some issues concerning the content of visual experience. Our target article had three aims: (a) to explain clearly the structure of the debate about color realism; (b) to introduce an interdisciplinary audience to t…Read more
  •  351
    Philosophical Topics 33 (1): 79-104. 2005.
    I know various contingent truths about my environment by perception. For example, by looking, I know that there is a computer before me; by hearing, I know that someone is talking in the corridor; by tasting, I know that the coffee has no sugar. I know these things because I have some built-in mechanisms specialized for detecting the state of my environment. One of these mechanisms, for instance, is presently transducing electromagnetic radiation (in a narrow band of wavelengths) coming from the…Read more
  • Forthcoming “Something about Mary”
    Grazer Philosophische Studien 62 (1). 2001.
  •  129
    Although the proper formulation and assessment of Ludwig Wittgenstein's argument (or arguments) against the possibility of a private language continues to be disputed, the issue has lost none of its urgency. At stake is a broadly Cartesian conception of experiences that is found today in much philosophy of mind.