•  23
    The Character of Consciousness. (review)
    Philosophy 87 (2): 298-306. 2012.
  •  21
    Radical Embodied Cognitive Science (review)
    Philosophical Quarterly 65 (260): 572-576. 2015.
  •  50
    Re-Authoring Narrative Therapy
    Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 24 (2): 157-167. 2017.
    How we narrate our lives can affect us, for good or ill. Our narrative practices make an undeniable difference to our psychosocial well-being. All so-called "talking cures" – including traditional psychoanalytic and psychodynamic approaches to therapy and newer techniques – are motivated by this insight about the power of personal narratives. All therapies of the discursive ilk make use of narratives, in one way or another, as a means of enabling individuals to frame, or reframe, and to manage t…Read more
  •  36
    Ask nearly any analytic philosopher of mind how we understand intentional actions performed for reasons and you are bound to be told that we do so by deploying mental concepts, such as beliefs and desires, in systematic ways. This way of making sense of actions is known as commonsense or folk psychology (or CSP or FP for short). There have been many interesting debates about CSP over the years. These have focused on questions including: How fundamental and universal is this practice? Which speci…Read more
  •  1155
    Many psychopathological disorders – clinical depression, borderline personality disorder, schizophrenia and autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) – are commonly classified as disorders of the self. In an intuitive sense this sort of classification is unproblematic. There can be no doubt that such disorders make a difference to one’s ability to form and maintain a coherent sense of oneself in various ways. However, any theoretically rigourous attempt to show that they relate to underlying problems wit…Read more
  •  8
    Consciousness (review)
    Philosophy 86 (2): 303-308. 2011.
  •  104
    In this book, Daniel Hutto and Erik Myin promote the cause of a radically enactive, embodied approach to cognition that holds that some kinds of minds -- basic minds -- are neither best explained by processes involving the manipulation of ...
  •  776
    Questing for Happiness: Augmenting Aristotle with Davidson?
    South African Journal of Philosophy 32 (4). 2004.
    Drawing heavily on Aristotle, Tabensky attempts to establish ‘an ethic that flows from the very structure of our being’, but he also calls on Davidson’s arguments about the essentially social character of rationality to shore up Aristotle’s claim that we are essentially social beings. This much of his project, I argue is successful. However Tabensky takes this a step further and proposes a pluralist ethic on the grounds that a ‘fully’ or ‘properly’ instantiated account of the ‘ideal’ conditions …Read more
  •  1037
    Presumptuous Naturalism: A Cautionary Tale
    American Philosophical Quarterly 48 (2): 129-145. 2011.
    Concentrating on their treatment of folk psychology, this paper seeks to establish that, in the form advocated by its leading proponents, the Canberra project is presumptuous in certain key respects. Crucially, it presumes (1) that our everyday practices entail the existence of implicit folk theories; (2) that naturalists ought to be interested primarily in what such theories say; and (3) that the core content of such theories is adequately characterized by establishing what everyone finds intui…Read more
  •  737
    It is possible to pursue philosophy with a clarificatory end in mind. Doing philosophy in this mode neither reduces to simply engaging in therapy or theorizing. This paper defends the possibility of this distinctive kind of philosophical activity and gives an account of its product—non-theoretical insights—in an attempt to show that there exists a third, ‘live’ option for understanding what philosophy has to offer. It responds to criticisms leveled at elucidatory philosophy by defenders of extre…Read more
  •  162
    Philosophy of Mind’s New Lease on Life: Autopoietic Enactivism meets Teleosemiotics
    Journal of Consciousness Studies 18 (5-6): 44-64. 2011.
    This commentary will seek to clarify certain core features of Thompson’s proposal about the enactive nature of basic mentality, as best it can, and to bring his ideas into direct conversation with accounts of basic cognition of the sort favoured by analytical philosophers of mind and more traditional cognitive scientists – i.e. those who tend to be either suspicious or critical of enactive/embodied approaches (to the extent that they confess to understanding them at all). My proposed way of open…Read more
  •  31
    The ability to produce and consume stories is a commonplace yet remarkable human activity. No wonder, then, that thinkers from vastly diverse fields are so interested in our narrative practices. Some argue that storytelling helps us to make sense of our lives and actions, while others claim that narratives are crucial in shaping or creating our identities. yet in all this discussion, the nature and core properties of stories are rarely put under philosophical scrutiny in the way that Gregory Cur…Read more
  • Prins Autos Herredomme: Psykologi I Naturbidenskabens Tidsalder
    Philosophia: tidsskrift for filosofi 21 (1-2): 61-80. 1992.
  •  100
    Neural representations not needed - no more pleas, please
    with Erik Myin
    Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 13 (2): 241-256. 2014.
    Colombo (Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, 2012) argues that we have compelling reasons to posit neural representations because doing so yields unique explanatory purchase in central cases of social norm compliance. We aim to show that there is no positive substance to Colombo’s plea—nothing that ought to move us to endorse representationalism in this domain, on any level. We point out that exposing the vices of the phenomenological arguments against representationalism does not, on its …Read more
  •  902
    Nonconceptual content and objectivity
    Electronic Journal of Analytic Philosophy (6). 1998.
    In recent times the question of whether or not there is such a thing as nonconceptual content has been the object of much serious attention. For analytical philosophers, the locus classicus of the view that there is such a phenomena is to be found in Evans remarks about perceptual experience in Varieties of Reference. John McDowell has taken issue with Evans over his claim that "conceptual capacities are first brought into operation only when one makes a judgement of experience, and at that poi…Read more
  •  55
    Overly Enactive Imagination? Radically Re-Imagining Imagining
    Southern Journal of Philosophy 53 (S1): 68-89. 2015.
  •  112
    Narrative self-shaping: a modest proposal
    Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 15 (1): 21-41. 2016.
    Decoupling a modestly construed Narrative Self Shaping Hypothesis from Strong Narrativism this paper attempts to motivate devoting our intellectual energies to the former. Section one briefly introduces the notions of self-shaping and rehearses reasons for thinking that self-shaping, in a suitably tame form, is, at least to some extent, simply unavoidable for reflective beings. It is against this background that the basic commitments of a modest Narrative Self-Shaping Hypothesis are articulated.…Read more
  •  29
    Narrative and Folk Psychology (edited book)
    Imprint Academic. 2009.
    Folk psychology refers to our everyday practice of making sense of actions, both our own and those of others, in terms of reasons. This volume, which is a special issue of the _Journal of Consciousness Studies_, brings together new work by scholars from a range of disciplines whose aim is to clarify, develop and challenge the claim that folk psychology may be importantly -- perhaps even constitutively -- related to narrative practices. This book is part of a wider project by its editor, Daniel D…Read more
  •  95
    Narrative and Understanding Persons
    Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 60 1-16. 2007.
    The human world is replete with narratives – narratives of our making that are uniquely appreciated by us. Some thinkers have afforded special importance to our capacity to generate such narratives, seeing it as variously enabling us to: exercise our imaginations in unique ways; engender an understanding of actions performed for reasons; and provide a basis for the kind of reflection and evaluation that matters vitally to moral and self development. Perhaps most radically, some hold that narrati…Read more
  •  18
    Narrative, Emotion, and Insight (review)
    Mind 121 (484): 1052-1055. 2012.
  •  4
    Narrative and Understanding Persons (edited book)
    Cambridge University Press. 2007.
    The human world is replete with narratives - narratives of our making that are uniquely appreciated by us. Some thinkers have afforded special importance to our capacity to generate such narratives, seeing it as variously enabling us to: exercise our imaginations in unique ways; engender an understanding of actions performed for reasons; and provide a basis for the kind of reflection and evaluation that matters vitally to moral and self development. Perhaps most radically, some hold that narrati…Read more
  •  58
    Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (review)
    Topoi 35 (2): 617-626. 2016.
    Readers beware! This book is other than it first seems. Ludwig Wittgenstein’s latest philosophical offering is unlike anything that we have had from him to date. Its preface warns that the Tractatus is no textbook. This is an extreme understatement; really it is a deep puzzle—one that must be handled with great care. As the first lines signal there has been a radical change in the author’s characteristic style. Gone are the ingenious, probing explorations of topics undertaken in his highly fragm…Read more
  • Historically, the philosophy of language has held pride of place in the analytical tradition. In fact, it would be safe to say that for a long time it had been unquestioningly regarded as first philosophy. The reason for this is twofold. Firstly, many analytical philosophers held (and many still hold) that we could only get at the underlying nature of our world by understanding the nature of thought. And secondly, they held (and many still hold) that we could only understand the nature of though…Read more
  •  59
    Predictive Processing accounts of Cognition, PPC, promise to forge productive alliances that will unite approaches that are otherwise at odds. Can it? This paper argues that it can’t—or at least not so long as it sticks with the cognitivist rendering that Clark and others favor. In making this case the argument of this paper unfolds as follows: Sect. 1 describes the basics of PPC—its attachment to the idea that we perceive the world by guessing the world. It then details the reasons why so many …Read more
  •  892
    Knowing what? Radical versus conservative enactivism
    Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 4 (4): 389-405. 2005.
    The binary divide between traditional cognitivist and enactivist paradigms is tied to their respective commitments to understanding cognition as based on knowing that as opposed to knowing how. Using O’Regan’s and No¨e’s landmark sensorimotor contingency theory of perceptual experience as a foil, I demonstrate how easy it is to fall into conservative thinking. Although their account is advertised as decidedly ‘skill-based’, on close inspection it shows itself to be riddled with suppositions thre…Read more
  •  46
    Limited engagements and narrative extensions
    International Journal of Philosophical Studies 16 (3). 2008.
    E-approaches to the mind stress the embodied, embedded and enactive nature of mental phenomena. In their more radical, non-representational variants these approaches offer innovative and powerful new ways of understanding fundamental modes of intersubjective social interaction: I-approaches. While promising, E and I accounts have natural limits. In particular, they are unable to explain human competence in making sense of reasons for actions in folk-psychological terms. In this paper I outline t…Read more
  •  39
    This paper introduces this special issue which is focused on its target paper - The Natural Origins of Content. The target paper has had a robust and considered set of fifteen replies; a literal A to Z of papers. This extended introduction explains the background thinking and challenges that motivated the target article's proposed research programme. It also provides a sneak peak preview and navigational aid to the special issue’s contents. Brief highlights of each commentary are provided and th…Read more