Providence, Rhode Island, United States of America
Areas of Specialization
Philosophy of Mind
  •  340
    Semiotics 5 (3): 401-431. 1989.
  •  555
    Philosophy of Mind
    Westview Press. 1996.
    The philosophy of mind has always been a staple of the philosophy curriculum. But it has never held a more important place than it does today, with both traditional problems and new topics often sparked by the developments in the psychological, cognitive, and computer sciences. Jaegwon Kim’s Philosophy of Mind is the classic, comprehensive survey of the subject. Now in its second edition, Kim explores, maps, and interprets this complex and exciting terrain. Designed as an introduction to the fie…Read more
  •  76
    Laws, Causation, and Explanation in the Special Sciences
    History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 27 (3/4). 2005.
    There is the general philosophical question concerning the relationship between physics, which is often taken to be our fundamental and all-encompassing science, on one hand and the special sciences, such as biology and psychology, each of which deals with phenomena in some specially restricted domain, on the other. This paper deals with a narrower question: Are there laws in the special sciences, laws like those we find, or expect to find, in basic physics? Three arguments that are intended to …Read more
  •  131
  • Preface
    In Physicalism, or Something Near Enough, Princeton University Press. 2007.
  •  407
    Causes and events: Mackie on causation
    Journal of Philosophy 68 (14): 426-441. 1971.
  •  95
    Supervenience and nomological incommensurables
    American Philosophical Quarterly 15 (2): 149-56. 1978.
    Developing and motivating the notion of supervenience. Investigating the relationship to reducibility and definability (equivalence, under certain conditions), and to microphysical determination
  •  27
    Mental events enter into causal relations with bodily events. The philosophical task is to explain how this is possible. Descartes’ dualism of mental and material substances ultimately founders on the impossibility of pairing mental events with physical events as causes and effects. This is what I have called “the pairing problem.” Many contemporary views also fail to explain mental causation. In the end, we are left with a dilemma. If mental phenomena are irreducible to physical phenomena, then…Read more
  •  668
    Multiple realization and the metaphysics of reduction
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 52 (1): 1-26. 1992.
  •  220
    Blocking Causal Drainage and Other Maintenance Chores with Mental Causation
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (1). 2003.
    In this paper I will revisit an argument that I have called “the supervenience argument”; it is sometimes called “the exclusion argument” in the literature. I want to reconsider several aspects of this argument in light of some of the criticisms and comments it has elicited, clarifying some points and offering a slightly reformulated—and improved—version of the argument. My primary aim, however, is to discuss and respond to Ned Block’s edifying and challenging critique of the argument in his “Do…Read more
  • Responses to critics
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 65 (3): 670-79. 2002.
  •  8
    Mental Causation in Searle’s “Biological Naturalism”
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 55 (1): 189-194. 1995.
  •  6
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 65 (3): 671-680. 2002.
    Jackson says that the form of physicalism that I recommend, with certain emendations he believes are necessary, turns out to be none other than the “Australian” type-type identity theory of J.J.C. Smart and others. About this, too, I have no serious disagreement, although Jackson’s claim appears to depend, at least in part, on a certain chosen reading of the texts involved. In fact, one point of similarity may be worth noting. As I take it, one special feature of the “Australian” type identity t…Read more
  •  257
    The layered model: Metaphysical considerations
    Philosophical Explorations 5 (1). 2002.
    This paper examines the idea, commonly presupposed but seldom explicitly stated in discussions of certain philosophical problems, that the objects and phenomena of the world are structured in a hierarchy of "levels", from the bottom level of microparticles to the levels of cells and biological organisms and then to the levels of creatures with mentality and social groups of such creatures. Parallel to this "layered model" of the natural world is an ordering of the sciences, with physics as our "…Read more
  •  3
    Physicalism, or Something near Enough
    Philosophical Quarterly 56 (223): 306-310. 2005.
  •  100
    States of Affairs, Events, and Propositions
    Grazer Philosophische Studien 7 147-162. 1979.
    States of affairs constitute a basic ontological category in Chisholm's metaphysical system, and yield events and propositions as subclasses. Qua events, they enter into causal relations, and qua propositions, they are objects of our intentional attitudes. This paper expounds and critically examines Chisholm's conception of a state of affairs and his constructions of events and propositions. Various difficulties with some of Chisholm's definitions and procedures are pointed out and discussed. Th…Read more
  •  168
    Metaphysics: An Anthology (edited book)
    Wiley-Blackwell. 1999.
    This anthology, intended to accompany _A Companion to Metaphysics_, brings together over 60 selections which represent the best and most important works in metaphysics during this century. The selections are grouped under ten major metaphysical problems and each section is preceded by an introduction by the editors
  •  2
    Supervenience and Supervenient Causation
    Southern Journal of Philosophy 22 (Supplement): 45-56. 1983.
  •  1
    In Physicalism, or Something Near Enough, Princeton University Press. pp. 181-186. 2007.
  •  1
    The Philosophy of Science: A Systematic Account
    with Peter Caws
    Philosophical Review 76 (3): 396. 1967.
  •  3
    Naturalism and Semantic Normativity
    Philosophical Issues 4 205-210. 1993.