•  118
    Experimental Philosophy and the Methods of Ontology
    The Monist 95 (2): 175-199. 2012.
    Those working in experimental philosophy have raised a number of arguments against the use of conceptual analysis in philosophical inquiries. But they have typically focused on a model that pursues conceptual analysis by taking intuitions as a kind of (defeasible) evidence for philosophical hypotheses. Little attention has been given to the constitutivist alternative, which sees metaphysical modal facts as reflections of constitutive semantic rules. I begin with a brief overview of the constitut…Read more
  •  116
    Research Problems and Methods in Metaphysics
    In Robert Barnard & Neil Manson (eds.), The Continuum Companion to Metaphysics, Continuum International. 2012.
  •  114
    In What Sense Is Phenomenology Transcendental?
    Southern Journal of Philosophy 45 (S1): 85-92. 2007.
    Dan Zahavi raises doubts about the prospects for combining phenomenological and analytical approaches to the mind, based chiefly on the claim that phenomenology is a form of transcendental philosophy. I argue that there are two ways in which one might understand the claim that phenomenology is transcendental: (1) as the claim that the methods of phenomenology essentially involve addressing transcendental questions or making transcendental arguments, or (2) as the claim that phenomenology is comm…Read more
  •  114
    Phenomenal Consciousness and the Phenomenal World
    The Monist 91 (2): 191-214. 2008.
    One-level accounts of consciousness have become increasingly popular (Dretske 1995, Tye 1995, Siewert 1998, Thomasson 2000 and 2005, Lurz 2006, McGinn, this volume). By a ‘onelevel’ account I mean an account according to which consciousness is fundamentally a matter of awareness of a world —and does not require awareness of our own minds, mental states, or the phenomenal character of these. As Fred Dretske puts it “Experiences and beliefs are conscious, not because you are conscious of them, but…Read more
  •  113
  •  110
    Ontological Innovation in Art
    Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 68 (2): 119-130. 2010.
  •  103
    Structural explanations and norms: comments on Haslanger
    Philosophical Studies 173 (1): 131-139. 2016.
    Sally Haslanger undertakes groundbreaking work in developing an account of structural explanations and the social structures that figure in them. A chief virtue of the account is that it can show the importance of structural explanations while also respecting the role of individual autonomy in explaining many decisions, by demonstrating the way in which social structures may set up a ‘choice architecture’ in which these choices are made. This paper gives an overview of this achievement, and goes…Read more
  •  98
    The first question to be addressed about fictional entities is: are there any? The usual grounds given for accepting or rejecting the view that there are fictional entities come from linguistic considerations. We make many different sorts of claims about fictional characters in our literary discussions. How can we account for their apparent truth? Does doing so require that we allow that there are fictional characters we can refer to, or can we offer equally good analyses while denying that ther…Read more
  •  93
    What Do Easy Inferences Get Us?
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 102 (3): 736-744. 2021.
  •  90
  •  86
    Why we Should Still Take it Easy
    Mind 126 (503): 769-779. 2017.
    In an earlier paper in this journal I argued that deflationism is preferable to fictionalism as an alternative to both traditional realism and eliminativism. Gabriele Contessa questions this conclusion, denying that fictionalist arguments beg the question against easy ontological arguments, presenting a new argument against easy ontology, and suggesting a response to the challenge I raise for fictionalists. Below I respond to these points in turn. In so doing, I hope to clarify the broader theor…Read more
  •  81
    Changing Metaphysics: What Difference does it Make?
    Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 82 139-163. 2018.
    I have argued elsewhere for a deflationary conception of metaphysics, which takes well-formed metaphysical questions to be answerable using nothing more mysterious than empirical information and descriptive and normative conceptual work. Here I examine the ways in which our practices of metaphysics should change, if we adopt the deflationary reconception of metaphysics. Adopting this approach does not mean abandoning metaphysics, but it does lead to important differences regarding which debates …Read more
  •  79
    Fiction and intentionality
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 56 (2): 277-298. 1996.
    A good phenomenological theory must be able to account equally well for our experiences of veridical perception and hallucination, for our thoughts about universities, colors, numbers, mythical figures and more. For all of these are characteristic mental acts, and a theory of intentionality should be a theory of conscious acts in general, not just of consciousness of a specific kind of thing or of a specific kind of consciousness. In so far as phenomenology purports to be a general study of inte…Read more
  •  67
    Categories
    Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2008.
    A system of categories is a complete list of highest kinds or genera. Traditionally, following Aristotle, these have been thought of as highest genera of entities (in the widest sense of the term), so that a system of categories undertaken in this realist spirit would ideally provide an inventory of everything there is, thus answering the most basic of metaphysical questions: “What is there?”. Skepticism about the possibilities for discerning the different categories of ‘reality itself’ has led …Read more
  •  67
    Phenomenology and analytic philosophy were born out of the same historical problem---the growing crisis about how to characterize the proper methods and role of philosophy, given the increasing success and separation of the natural sciences. A common 18th and 19th century solution that reached its height with John Stuart Mill’s psychologism was to hold that the while natural science was concerned with “external, physical phenomena”, philosophy was concerned with “internal, mental phenomena”, and…Read more
  •  66
    Replies to Comments on Ontology Made Easy
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 99 (1): 251-264. 2019.
  •  53
    Précis of Ontology Made Easy
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 99 (1): 223-228. 2019.
  •  48
    Two puzzles for a new theory of consciousness
    PSYCHE: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Research On Consciousness 8. 2002.
    In _The Significance of Consciousness_ , Charles Siewert proposes a novel understanding of consciousness by arguing against higher-order views of consciousness and rejecting the traditional taxonomy of the mental into qualitative and intentional aspects. I discuss two puzzles that arise from these changes: first, how to account for first-person knowledge of our conscious states while denying that these are typically accompanied by higher-order states directed towards them; second, how to underst…Read more
  •  47
    It's a Jumble Out There: How Talk of Levels Leads Us Astray
    American Philosophical Quarterly 51 (4): 285-296. 2014.
    One often hears talk about some entities being "higher-level" than others: social and cultural objects, for example, are often said to be "higher-level" entities than organisms; mental properties are often said to be "higherlevel" than physical or neurological properties; and so on. Sometimes this is expressed as the idea that reality comes in ontological levels, strata of being. I will argue, however, that metaphysics is better off without making use of the idea of "levels." The levels metaphor…Read more
  •  46
    Answerable and unanswerable questions
    In David Chalmers, David Manley & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology, Oxford University Press. 2009.
    While fights about ontology rage on in the ring, there’s long been a suspicion whispered in certain corners of the stadium that some of the fights aren’t real. Granted the disputants all think they are really disagreeing—it’s not the sincerity of the serious ontologists that’s in question, but rather their judgment that they are engaged in a real debate about genuine issues of substance.
  •  45
  •  45
    Real Natures and Familiar Objects
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (2): 518-523. 2007.
    Crawford Elder’s Real Natures and Familiar Objects promises to give naturalistically inclined metaphysicians reason to accept an ontology that includes many common sense objects, including persons, organisms, and at least many artifacts, behaviors, customs, and so on. This is a brave book, running against the current of trends towards austerity in ontology, tackling centuries old problems about how modal facts may be empirically discovered, and defending a commonsense ontology from a strictly na…Read more
  •  45
    This is an interesting and ambitious book, bringing Husserl’s account of constitution to bear on the enduring problem of how mind and world are related. The study does not aim to be a contribution to Husserl scholarship, but rather to bring aspects of Husserlian phenomenology into dialog with more recent analytic work in philosophy of mind to make philosophical progress
  •  44
    Roman Ingarden
    Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2008.
    Roman Ingarden (1893 -- 1970) was a Polish phenomenologist, ontologist and aesthetician. A student of Edmund Husserl's from the Göttingen period, Ingarden was a realist phenomenologist who spent much of his career working against what he took to be Husserl's turn to transcendental idealism. As preparatory work for narrowing down possible solutions to the realism/idealism problem, Ingarden developed ontological studies unmatched in scope and detail, distinguishing different kinds of dependence an…Read more
  •  41
    What Can we Take Away from Easy Arguments?
    Australasian Philosophical Review 1 (2): 153-162. 2017.
    ABSTRACTA ‘sceptical’ approach to easy arguments involves reducing our confidence in the supposedly uncontroversial premise with which the arguments begin. Here I address the question: if we accept Yablo's new version of a sceptical proposal, what difference might that make for the relevant meta-ontological debates? I argue that serious difficulties remain for even this ‘best’ version of a sceptical approach. Noting these difficulties might motivate us to look again at the alternative strategy—o…Read more
  •  40
    Phenomenology and Philosophy of Mind (edited book)
    with David Woodruff Smith
    Oxford: Clarendon Press. 2005.
    This volume aims to bring them together again, by demonstrating how work in phenomenology may lead to significant progress on problems central to current ...
  •  39
    Husserl on Essences
    Grazer Philosophische Studien 94 (3): 436-459. 2017.
    The common thought that Husserl was committed to a Platonist ontology of essences, and to a mysterious epistemology that holds that we can ‘intuit’ these essences, has contributed substantially to his work being dismissed and marginalized in analytic philosophy. This paper aims to show that it is misguided to dismiss Husserl on these grounds. First, the author aims to explicate Husserl’s views about essences and how we can know them, in ways that make clear that he is not committed to a traditio…Read more
  •  37
    The main focus of this book lies in analyzing singular negative existential statements such as “Sherlock Holmes does not exist”. Chakrabarti’s goal is to preserve the idea that this is a subject-predicate statement involving a singular denial about a particular individual, without committing himself to an unwanted ontology of Meinongian, imaginary, or other nonexistent objects, and without resorting to any kind of free logic.